Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG): an attenuated strain of tubercle bacillus developed by repeated culture on a medium containing bile and used in preparation of tuberculosis vaccines.2

Bias: systematic deviation of results or inferences from truth; processes leading to such deviation. An error in the conception and design of a study—or in the collection, analysis, interpretation, reporting, publication, or review of data—leading to results or conclusions that are systematically (as opposed to randomly) different from the truth.4

Case-control study: the observational epidemiological study of persons with the disease (or another outcome variable) of interest and a suitable control group of persons without the disease (comparison group, reference group). The potential relationship of a suspected risk factor or an attribute to the disease is examined by comparing the diseased and nondiseased subjects with regard to how frequently the factor or attribute is present (or, if quantitative, the levels of the attribute) in each of the groups (diseased and nondiseased).4

Cohort study: the analytic epidemiological study in which subsets of a defined population can be identified who are, have been, or in the future may be exposed or not exposed, or exposed in different degrees, to a factor or factors hypothesized to influence the occurrence of a given disease or other outcome. The main feature of cohort study is observation of large numbers over a long period (commonly years), with comparison of incidence rates in groups that differ in exposure levels. The alternative terms for a cohort study (i.e., follow-up, longitudinal, and prospective study) describe an essential feature of the method, which is observation of the population for a sufficient number of person-years to generate reliable incidence or mortality rates in the population subsets. This generally implies study of a large population, study for a prolonged period (years), or both. The denominators used for analysis may be persons or person-time.4

Community immunity: a situation in which a sufficient proportion of a population is immune to an infectious disease (through vaccination and/or prior illness) to make its spread from person to person unlikely. Even individuals not vaccinated (such as newborns and those with chronic illnesses) are offered some protection because the disease has little opportunity to spread within the community. Also known as herd immunity.1

Confounding: loosely, the distortion of a measure of the effect of an exposure on an outcome caused by the association of the exposure with other factors that influence the occurrence of the outcome. Confounding occurs

The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement