Intravescical instillation of Calmette-Guérin bacillus and COVID-19 risk

Bladder Cancer

Hum Vaccin Immunother. 2020 Sep 3:1-2. doi: 10.1080/21645515.2020.1805994. Online ahead of print.


It has been theorized that Calmette-Guérin bacillus may prevent or reduce the severity of COVID-19 through a nonspecific stimulation of the immune system. A preliminary assessment of SARS-CoV-2 infection rates and outcomes among 2803 individuals affected with high risk non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer and treated with intra-bladder instillation of BCG, showed no evidence of a protective effect. However, the interpretation of these data need some caution, due to the low prevalence of infection

(<1%) observed within this population, along with the fact that intra-bladder administration cannot mirror the usual intradermal administration of BCG, in particular in patients partially immunocompromised. Confirmation by larger prospective studies is required.