Abstract The Mycobacterium tuberculosis TB8.4 (Rv1174c) gene encodes a secreted protein of 8.4 kDa (TB8.4) which has been suggested to be involved in reactivation of dormant mycobacteria. We have previously reported that inactivation of an identical gene ( sa5k) in Mycobacterium bovis BCG causes impaired ability of the mutant strain (BCG sa5k::aph) to grow inside human macrophages. This study aimed to investigate the role of TB8.4 in the reactivation of aged cultures of BCG as well as the role of the sa5k gene in the resistance of BCG to intracellular stress conditions and adaptation to hypoxia. Although when added to aged cultures of BCG, TB8.4 caused a statistically significant increase in the number of colony-forming units, a similar effect was obtained in cultures incubated with BSA, suggesting a non-specific growth stimulation by TB8.4. Compared to parental BCG, the BCG sa5k::aph strain showed an increased susceptibility to reactive oxygen and nitrogen intermediates and to acid stress and an impaired ability to adapt to reduced O 2 concentrations, when tested in the oxygen-limited Wayne culture system. These results suggest that the product of the sa5k gene (SA5K protein) has a role in both resistance of BCG to intracellular stress and in its adaptation to hypoxia.