The purpose of this research is to find out if a single dose of pre-travel vaccination with BCG can lessen tuberculosis (TB) infection by producing an immune response when given to adults traveling to countries with a high burden of TB. BCG will be compared with a placebo (an inactive vaccine). BCG (Japan) is used globally but is not approved for use in the United States, therefore it is considered experimental. Participants choosing to take part in this research study, will be randomly assigned (this is like a coin flip) to BCG or placebo. 2000 eligible volunteers will be enrolled.



Eligible Ages
Between 18 Years and 65 Years
Eligible Genders
Accepts Healthy Volunteers

Inclusion Criteria

  • Participants will be eligible for study participation if they meet all of the following criteria: 1. Participant is willing to participate in the study as evidenced by providing voluntary written informed consent and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) authorization prior to conducting any trial related procedures 2. Participant is male or female, age ≥ 18 years and ≤ 65 years at time of consent 3. Participant is in good general health, confirmed by medical history, laboratory screening, and physical examination 4. Participant has no known history of Mtb infection 5. Participant has no prior history of BCG vaccination, or previous receipt of an investigational Mtb vaccine 6. Participant is assessed to be at risk for TB exposure (particularly drug resistant TB) during planned travel and has planned to work in high TB burden countries for a duration of >4 weeks and <6 months for HCW, or ≥6 months and ≤2.5 years if long term traveler and/or/HCW 7. Participant presents at least 4 weeks prior to travel departure 8. Participant is willing to forego any periodic tuberculin skin test screening procedures for 6 months after receiving BCG/placebo vaccine 9. Participant is willing to wait after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine for 7 days before receiving BCG/placebo vaccine 10. Participant is willing to complete all study visits as required by the protocol and is reachable by telephone or email during the study 11. Participant agrees to medical record access for purposes of relevant medical history collection For Females of Childbearing Potential Only: 12. Participant has a negative urine pregnancy test prior to starting study treatment 13. Participant is willing to use effective contraception for at least 30 days before and 6 weeks after BCG/placebo vaccination 14. Lactating female that is willing to refrain from breast-feeding for 6 weeks post-vaccination

Exclusion Criteria

  • Participants will be ineligible for study participation if they meet any of the following criteria: 1. Participant has known positive tuberculin skin test (>10 mm) or positive IGRA 2. Participant has medical condition for which BCG vaccination is contraindicated (e.g., HIV or other immunocompromised conditions) 3. Participant is currently receiving (within last 30 days) immune-compromising treatments, such as TNF-α blockade 4. Participant has history of chronic (≥ 30 days) oral steroid use or intravenous (IV) steroids within the last 90 days 5. Participant has received radiation therapy or chemotherapy within the last 180 days 6. Participant has received BCG treatment for bladder cancer 7. Participant is female and is pregnant (as defined by positive urine βHCG test) or intends to become pregnant in next 3 months, or is breast-feeding at screening or vaccination visit 8. Participant is unwilling to complete all required study elements (e.g., HIV testing) 9. Participant has received 2 or more live vaccinations (e.g., measles and yellow fever) within 30 days prior to receipt of BCG/placebo vaccine (Visit 2) 10. Participant has known or suspected hypersensitivity to BCG vaccine or related products 11. Participant has positive/borderline IGRA test at screening 12. Participant has positive/indeterminate HIV test at screening 13. Participant has a history of life-threatening adverse event following receipt of any immunization 14. Participant is known to have a behavioral, cognitive, or psychiatric disease that in the opinion of the investigator affects the ability of the participant to understand or cooperate with the requirements of the study protocol 15. Participant has other concurrent condition(s) that in the opinion of the investigator would jeopardize the safety or rights of a participant participating in the trial or would render the participant unable to comply with the protocol and/or compromise study objectives 16. Participant has had tuberculin skin testing performed within 1 month prior to Visit 1 17. Participant has received a COVID-19 vaccine within 7 days prior to BCG/placebo vaccine 18. Participant has had a probable exposure to TB (defined as to someone with suspected or confirmed pulmonary TB who is likely infectious) within 8-10 weeks of Visit 1 19. Participant has prior history of nontuberculous mycobacterial disease, not colonization only

Study Design

Phase 3
Study Type
Intervention Model
Parallel Assignment
Intervention Model Description
Randomized, controlled trial of BCG (Tokyo 172) vaccine single dose given intradermally compared to placebo vaccine (diluent) given intradermally single dose
Primary Purpose
Single (Participant)
Masking Description
The participant and the laboratory (endpoint measurement) will be masked

Arm Groups

ArmDescriptionAssigned Intervention
BCG vaccine
Freeze-dried Glutamate Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) (Tokyo 172) vaccine
  • Biological: BCG (Tokyo 172) vaccine
    Freeze-Dried Glutamate Bacillus Calmette-Guérin BCG Vaccine (Japan BCG Laboratory), 0.1 mL given as single dose by intradermal injection over the outer lower aspect of the deltoid region
Placebo Comparator
Vaccine diluent [sodium glutamate]
  • Drug: Placebo
    Placebo vaccine diluent, 0.1 mL given as single dose by intradermal injection over the outer lower aspect of the deltoid region
    Other names:
    • sodium glutamate

Recruiting Locations

The UAB Alabama Vaccine Research Clinic
Birmingham, Alabama 35294
Kimberly Simmons, RN, BSN

More Details

Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine

Study Contact

Kelly A. Hummer, RN, BSN

Detailed Description

This study is a multi-center, prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled, participant and laboratory-blinded clinical trial to evaluate a single pre-travel vaccination with investigational freeze-dried glutamate BCG (Japan) to prevent Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (Mtb) infection in healthy adult travelers, 18-65 years of age, exposed to persons with TB in high burden countries. The goals of this study are both public health and scientific. The public health goal of this study is to offer possible protection against TB to US workers traveling abroad to work in countries with a high burden of TB where there is a risk for multidrug resistant/extensively drug resistant TB exposure and where effective TB infection control interventions are infrequently fully implemented. A long-term scientific goal is to test the hypothesis that TB vaccination prevents primary TB infection as measured by peripheral blood TB interferon gamma release assay (IGRA) conversion at return from travel visit, as well as sustained conversion at approximately 4-6 months post-return from travel. Rates of IGRA conversion in BCG-vaccinated recipients as compared to placebo recipients will be evaluated. Additionally, this study will collect information regarding exposure to and infection with TB, assessing risk factors for TB infection during the participant's travel. This study will recruit two types of travelers: Type 1 travelers (Short-term travelers) that will be limited to health care workers traveling for 4 weeks, but less than 6 months and Type 2 travelers (Long-term travelers) that will include those planning to reside in the country for 6 months or more (but ≤ 2.5 years duration), regardless of occupational group. High TB burden countries for this study are defined as countries identified in the World Health Organization (WHO) Global Tuberculosis Report 2020 to have a TB incidence of ≥70/100,000. Targeted participant population of travelers at-risk for high TB exposure will work specifically in one or more of the 74 highest ranked TB burden countries as recognized by the WHO 2020 report. Participants enrolled will be required to complete typically 4, but up to 6 study visits composed of: screening and eligibility assessments, vaccination with study vaccine (BCG or placebo), a subsequent post-vaccination follow-up assessment visit to identify potential adverse event occurrences, a post-travel follow-up visit to assess the risk factors for Mtb infection and assess the primary endpoint (IGRA conversion from negative to positive), and if applicable, an additional visit for those participants who are found to have a borderline IGRA result. For participants found to have post-travel IGRA conversion results, an additional visit will be requested for assessment of sustained TB IGRA conversion and reversion. Different evaluations, tests and/or procedures to be performed during study visits include: interviews relevant to their medical history and general well-being between study visits; physical examinations and vital signs; completion of a pre-travel questionnaire and post-travel questionnaires to collect information regarding exposure to TB and risk factors for infection, as well as any information regarding development of active TB disease, both pulmonary and/or extrapulmonary and evaluation for the presence and severity of self-reported symptomatic all-cause respiratory infection occurrences while traveling abroad; keeping a record to assess for occurrence of local reactions at the injection site and incidence of selected symptoms for the first 14 days post-vaccination; and blood draws (2 up to 4 depending on what previous blood test results reveal). The study design is endpoint driven; designed to observe 56 total IGRA conversions. Therefore, enrollment into this study will be stopped if the target endpoint (56 IGRA conversions) are met earlier than expected.


Study information shown on this site is derived from ClinicalTrials.gov (a public registry operated by the National Institutes of Health). The listing of studies provided is not certain to be all studies for which you might be eligible. Furthermore, study eligibility requirements can be difficult to understand and may change over time, so it is wise to speak with your medical care provider and individual research study teams when making decisions related to participation.