Does intravesical BCG for bladder cancer protect from COVID-19?

Submitted: March 4, 2024
Accepted: March 28, 2024
Published: May 9, 2024
Abstract Views: 129
PDF: 78
Publisher's note
All claims expressed in this article are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of their affiliated organizations, or those of the publisher, the editors and the reviewers. Any product that may be evaluated in this article or claim that may be made by its manufacturer is not guaranteed or endorsed by the publisher.


Introduction: The study aimed to correlate the history of intravesical BCG as well as infantile BCG immunization with the incidence and severity of COVID-19 infection.

Methods: Retrospective data collection of patients with high-risk non muscle invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC) from two Canadian centers. Data collection included a history of BCG instillation, infantile immunization, and the development of COVID-19 infection. Admission and/ or mortality because of COVID-19 was reported.

Results: We could include data from 348 patients: including 188 and 160 patients from Ontario and British Columbia respectively. COVID-19 affected 15% of these patients. Intravesical BCG was used in 44% of these patients. Intravesical BCG and/or infantile BCG immunization did not correlate with the incidence of COVID-19 infection.

Conclusions: Previous intravesical BCG and/ or a history of infantile BCG vaccination were not more/ less frequent in patients who had COVID-19 infection.

Kaur G, Singh S, Nanda S, et al. Fiction and Facts about BCG Imparting Trained Immunity against COVID-19. Vaccines 2022; 10:1006. DOI:

Gong W, Aspatwar A, Wang S, et al. COVID-19 pandemic: SARS-CoV-2 specific vaccines and challenges, protection via BCG trained immunity, and clinical trials. Expert Rev Vaccines 2021; 20:857-880. DOI:

Okafor CN, Rewane A, Momodu II. Bacillus Calmette Guerin. 2023 Jul 3. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2024.

Koneru G, Batiha GE, Algammal AM, et al. BCG Vaccine-Induced Trained Immunity and COVID-19: Protective or Bystander? Infect Drug Resist. 2021; 14:1169-1184. DOI:

Miyasaka M. Is BCG vaccination causally related to reduced COVID-19 mortality? EMBO Mol Med. 2020; 12:e12661. DOI:

Saginala K, Barsouk A, Aluru JS, et al. Epidemiology of Bladder Cancer. Med Sci (Basel). 2020; 8:15. DOI:

Livak KJ, Schmittgen TD. Analysis of relative gene expression data using real-time quantitative PCR and the 2(-Delta Delta C(T)) Method. Methods (San Diego, Calif.), 2001; 25:402-408. DOI:

Gallegos H, Rojas PA, Sepúlveda F, et al. Protective role of intravesical BCG in COVID-19 severity. BMC Urology, 2021; 21:50. DOI:

van Puffelen JH, Novakovic B, van Emst L, et al. Intravesical BCG in patients with non-muscle invasive bladder cancer induces trained immunity and decreases respiratory infections. J Immunother Cancer. 2023; 11:e005518. DOI:

Pichler R, Diem G, Hackl H, et al. Intravesical BCG in bladder cancer induces innate immune responses against SARS CoV-2. Front. Immunol. 2023; 14:1202157. DOI:

Miller A, Reandelar MJ, Fasciglione K, et al. (2020). Correlation between Universal BCG Vaccination Policy and Reduced Mortality for COVID-19. MedRxiv preprint doi: DOI:

World Health Organization (2020). Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccination and Covid-19. DOI:

Travassos TC, De Oliveira JMI, Selegatto IB, Reis LO. COVID-19 impact on bladder cancer-orientations for diagnosing, decision making, and treatment. Am J Clin Exp Urol. 2021; 9:132-139.

MacDonald, A., Bao, L., Mehrnoush, V., Ismail, A., Di Matteo, L., Zakaria, A., Elmansy, H., Black, P., & Kotb, A. (2024). Does intravesical BCG for bladder cancer protect from COVID-19?. Archivio Italiano Di Urologia E Andrologia.


Download data is not yet available.


Similar Articles

You may also start an advanced similarity search for this article.