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New disease old vaccine: Is recombinant BCG vaccine an answer for COVID-19?

Authors
  • Gupta, Pramod Kumar
Type
Published Article
Journal
Cellular Immunology
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Jul 28, 2020
Volume
356
Pages
104187–104187
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.cellimm.2020.104187
PMID: 32745670
PMCID: PMC7386780
Source
PubMed Central
Keywords
Disciplines
  • Article
License
Unknown

Abstract

Mycobacterium bovis BCG, a live attenuated tuberculosis vaccine offers protection against disseminated TB in children. BCG exhibits heterologous protective effects against unrelated infections and reduces infant mortality due to non-mycobacterial infections. Recent reports have suggested that BCG vaccination might have protective effects against COVID-19, however it is highly unlikely that BCG vaccine in its current form can offer complete protection against SARS-CoV-2 infection due to the lack of specific immunity. Nonetheless, recombinant BCG strains expressing antigens of SARS-CoV-2 may offer protection against COVID-19 due to the activation of innate as well as specific adaptive immune response. Further proven safety records of BCG in humans, its adjuvant activity and low cost manufacturing makes it a frontrunner in the vaccine development to stop this pandemic. In this review we discuss about the heterologous effects of BCG, induction of trained immunity and its implication in development of a potential vaccine against COVID-19 pandemic.

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