Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada

Funded Research

Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccination and multiple sclerosis: A population-based study in Quebec

Year Awarded: 2015

Term: 4 years

Funding Amount: $290,234

Province(s): Quebec

Researcher(s): Dr. Marie-Claude Rousseau

Research Priorities: Cause of MS

Impact Goal(s): Prevent MS

Affiliation: Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS)


  • Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccine, which is normally given to protect against tuberculosis, can slow short-term multiple sclerosis (MS) progression.
  • It is unknown if having received the BCG vaccine as a child could prevent MS later in life.
  • The research team will:
    • Link databases from public health system and other government institutions on provincial birth, death, BCG vaccination and other content from databases in healthcare systems.
    • Compare the risk of developing MS among those who are vaccinated with BCG to those who were not vaccinated.

Project Description:

Dr. Marie-Claude Rousseau and her team have set to study the BCG vaccination (normally given to protect against tuberculosis). Researchers have previously shown that the vaccine slows against MS progression in the short-term. Dr. Rousseau’s interest lies in the possible association between BCG vaccination and the potential reduced risk of developing MS, with a particular focus on vaccination in the first year of life. Thus far, Dr. Rousseau’s research team has worked with various provincial agencies to obtain information from databases on the BCG vaccine and the use of health care services for multiple sclerosis.

Potential Impact: The study will contribute to the knowledge on the causes of MS, which is necessary to establish preventive strategies.

Project Status: In Progress

Open navigation