Prosthetic joint infection due to Mycobacterium bovis 5-years after BCG-instillations


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Published online: Jan 08 2021

Wouter Goedertier, Wouter Sioen

From the Department of orthopaedic surgery, OLV Lourdes hospital, Waregem, Belgium


The Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) has been used as intravesical immunotherapy for superficial urothelial bladder carcinoma in preventing its recurrence. Prosthetic joint infections due to those instillations are very rare and few practitioners know this side effect.

We report the case of a 77-year old male with a medical history of right hip replacement and super- ficial urothelial bladder carcinoma treated with BCG-instillations. He presented with a painful hip joint and extreme difficulty at walking. Because of high suspicion of prosthetic joint infection, a 2-stage arthroplasty was performed. Microbiological culture revealed Mycobacterium bovis so he was kept on antituberculous therapy for twelve months.

Remarkable is the delay between the instillations and the acquisition of the prosthetic joint infection. A medical history of BCG instillations should warrant the practitioner for a possible joint infection. There are no current guidelines concerning the therapy.