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BCG Against SARS-CoV-2: Second Youth of an Old Age Vaccine?

Kamat, S and Kumari, M (2020) BCG Against SARS-CoV-2: Second Youth of an Old Age Vaccine? In: Frontiers in Pharmacology, 11 .

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Official URL: https://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2020.01050


The sudden outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, caused by SARS-CoV-2, has put the whole world into a difficult situation, asking for the immediate development of therapeutics and vaccines against the disease. Bacillus Calmette�Guérin (BCG), an attenuated strain of Mycobacterium bovis, has been administered for decades in many countries against tuberculosis. Today, when a solution against SARS-CoV-2 is urgently needed, the BCG vaccine has again come into the limelight owing to its earlier prevention of non-specific diseases. Data suggest a higher mortality rate of COVID-19 in non-BCG vaccinated countries, whereas the nations opting for BCG immunization have a comparatively lower mortality rate. The BCG vaccine is known to induce �trained immunity� and generate �non-specific� heterologous immune responses. It can confer anti-viral immunity by eliciting the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines, IL-6, TNF-α, IFN-γ, and IL-1β. Though the initial results look promising, a long trail still needs to be followed to avoid false promises. The accuracy of nationwide data, the role of an already activated immune system against �cytokine storms�, optimization and timing of vaccine dosage, and balancing demand-supply are some of the relevant issues that must be resolved before reaching a final conclusion. © Copyright © 2020 Kamat and Kumari.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publication: Frontiers in Pharmacology
Additional Information: Copy right for this article belongs to Frontiers Media S.A.
Keywords: COVID-19, BCG vaccine, trained immunity, clinical trials, IL-1b
Department/Centre: Division of Biological Sciences > Biochemistry
Date Deposited: 24 Nov 2020 11:17
Last Modified: 24 Nov 2020 11:17
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/66153

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