HealthDay News — Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccination within 7 days of birth may reduce the risk of allergic diseases, including atopic dermatitis, according to a study published online in Allergy.

Lisbeth Marianne Thøstesen, MD, PhD, from Kolding Hospital in Denmark, and colleagues randomized newborns within 7 days of birth to BCG or no BCG as part of the Danish Calmette Study (2012-2015). Over 13 months of follow-up, data were collected through telephone interviews and clinical examinations.

The researchers found that clinical atopic dermatitis was diagnosed in 466 of 2052 children in the BCG group and 495 of 1952 children in the control group (relative risk [RR], 0.90; 95% CI, 0.80-1.00). 

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There was a significant difference in the effect of neonatal BCG vaccination between children with atopic predisposition (RR, 0.84; 95% CI, 0.74-0.95) and children without atopic predisposition (RR, 1.09; 95% CI, 0.88-1.37) (test of no interaction, P =.04).

“Among children with atopic predisposition, the number-needed-to-treat with BCG to prevent one case of atopic dermatitis was 21,” the authors write.

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Thøstesen LM, Kjaergaard J, Pihl GT, et al. Neonatal BCG-vaccination and atopic dermatitis before 13 months of age. A randomized clinical trial [published online September 20, 2017]. Allergy. doi:10.1111/all.13314