Therapeutic Action Research of Bacille Calmette Guerin (BCG)


Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a multi-system autoimmune disease which involves many factors. Due to the current unknown etiology, the therapeutic effects and prognoses are poor, which seriously affects the labor abilities and life qualities of the patients involved. The use of corticosteroids and immune suppressants can alleviate the conditions of the patients. However, the long-term use of corticosteroids may cause serious side effects, such as osteoporosis, gastro duodenal ulcers, and Cushing’s syndrome. Some patients are prone to showing repeated diseases during the process of their maintenance therapy. However, an interesting phenomenon has been observed in recent clinical studies, i.e. after being infected with mycobacterium tuberculosis, the patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) demonstrated that the disease activities of their systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) were under control. These patients mainly displayed decreases in white blood cells, revering of platelets, complement C3 and C4, and the mitigation of skin damages. It has usually been considered that for SLE patients infected with tuberculosis, the illness will be accentuated. The question remains as to why the lupus activities become reduced instead. Subsequently, this research study carried out a retrospective analysis of the clinical data of more than 2,000 cases of SLE patients in our hospital over the span of a decade. It was determined that the hematologic system damages (including white blood cells and platelets) of the SLE amalgamative tuberculosis patients were in fact alleviated over the relatively pure SLE patients. Furthermore, the levels of complement C3 and C4 were higher than the control group. However, the IgG, IgM, and IgA of both groups showed no significant differences (P>0.05). The inflammatory biomarkers of the SLE patients with amalgamative tuberculosis were observed to be aggravated, such as the acceleration of erythrocyte sedimentation, and the elevation of C-reactive protein. According to the research results, after the SLE patients were infected with tuberculosis, the illness was aggravated. However, the inflammatory response was actually aggravated, while the lupus activities were alleviated. Therefore, the data have been summarized [1], and many other researchers in this field have expressed concerns and interests in the results of this study. Due to the complicated clinical factors which influence the prognosis of this disease, animal experiments have been carried out in order to eliminate the interference factors. The tuberculosis vaccine (BCG) was used to simulate SLE mice with tuberculosis infections, and if the BCG can be confirmed to control the activities of SLE, this will be a very significant study. This study used a method of stimulating cellular immunity (BCG vaccine), which was opposite to the traditional method of immune suppression (for example, cortical hormones) in the treatment of SLE. When ideal results could be achieved, it was not only able to promote the research of the pathogenesis of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), but could also lead to fundamental changes in SLE treatment concepts.