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J Infect Dis. 2015 Dec 15;212(12):1930-8. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jiv332. Epub 2015 Jun 12.

BCG Vaccination Enhances the Immunogenicity of Subsequent Influenza Vaccination in Healthy Volunteers: A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Pilot Study.

Author information

1
Department of Internal Medicine Department of Intensive Care Medicine, Radboud Institute for Health Sciences.
2
Department of Intensive Care Medicine, Radboud Institute for Health Sciences.
3
Laboratory of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences, Nijmegen.
4
Department of Internal Medicine.
5
Erasmus MC Department of Viroscience, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Influenza-related morbidity and mortality remain high. Seasonal vaccination is the backbone of influenza management but does not always result in protective antibody titers. Nonspecific effects of BCG vaccination related to enhanced function of myeloid antigen-presenting cells have been reported. We hypothesized that BCG vaccination could also enhance immune responses to influenza vaccination.

METHODS:

Healthy volunteers received either live attenuated BCG vaccine (n = 20) or placebo (n = 20) in a randomized fashion, followed by intramuscular injection of trivalent influenza vaccine 14 days later. Hemagglutination-inhibiting (HI) antibodies and cellular immunity measured by ex vivo leukocyte responses were assessed.

RESULTS:

In BCG-vaccinated subjects, HI antibody responses against the 2009 pandemic influenza A(H1N1) vaccine strain were significantly enhanced, compared with the placebo group, and there was a trend toward more-rapid seroconversion. Additionally, apart from enhanced proinflammatory leukocyte responses following BCG vaccination, nonspecific effects of influenza vaccination were also observed, with modulation of cytokine responses against unrelated pathogens.

CONCLUSIONS:

BCG vaccination prior to influenza vaccination results in a more pronounced increase and accelerated induction of functional antibody responses against the 2009 pandemic influenza A(H1N1) vaccine strain. These results may have implications for the design of vaccination strategies and could lead to improvement of vaccination efficacy.

KEYWORDS:

BCG; heterologous immunity; influenza vaccination; innate immune memory; trained immunity; vaccination strategy

PMID:
26071565
DOI:
10.1093/infdis/jiv332
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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