Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) is a mycobacterium belonging to the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex. It is a live attenuated organism and generally nonpathogenic for healthy human subjects. Originally developed as a vaccine against tuberculosis, since the mid-1970s, it is increasingly used as a successful active immunotherapeutic agent in the treatment of nonmuscle-invasive bladder cancer.
Microbiological Background on BCG and Tuberculosis Vaccination
BCG is an attenuated derivative of virulent Mycobacterium bovis (M. bovis), the causative pathogen of bovine tuberculosis. The name of BCG acknowledges the contributions of two French researchers Albert Calmette, a microbiologist, and Jean-Marie Camille Guérin, a veterinarian. Those two, between 1908 and 1921, passaged a virulent strain of M. bovisin an attempt to generate a vaccine against tuberculosis in humans. By using a continuous in vitro passage and a special...