Nav: Home

Common childhood vaccine might prevent severe complications of COVID-19

June 26, 2020

New Orleans, LA - A paper published by Paul Fidel, Jr., PhD, Professor and Director of the Center of Excellence in Oral and Craniofacial Biology and Associate Dean for Research at LSU Health New Orleans School of Dentistry, and Mairi Noverr, PhD, Professor of Microbiology & Immunology at Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans, suggests that live attenuated vaccines such as MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) may prevent the severe lung inflammation and sepsis associated with COVID-19 infection. The paper was published online in mBio Increasing evidence demonstrates that live attenuated vaccines can activate nonspecific immune cells to train leukocytes (the white blood cells of the immune system) to mount a more effective defense against unrelated infections. The researchers demonstrated in a laboratory that vaccination with a live attenuated fungal strain generated trained innate protection against lethal sepsis (blood poisoning) caused by a combination of disease-causing fungi and bacteria.

The authors propose that the protection from an unrelated live attenuated vaccine is produced by long-lived myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) previously reported to inhibit septic inflammation and mortality in several experimental models. They stress that this live attenuated MMR vaccine concept is NOT in any way suggested to be directed against COVID-19, but instead an immune preventive measure against the severe inflammatory symptoms of COVID-19.

"The use of childhood live attenuated vaccines such as MMR given to adults to induce bystander cells that can dampen or reduce severe complications associated with COVID-19 infection is a low risk - high reward preventive measure during a critical period of the pandemic," notes Dr. Fidel. "These bystander cells are long-lived but not life-long. Anyone who had an MMR vaccination as a child, while likely to still have immune antibodies directed against measles, mumps, or rubella, will not likely still have the immune cells directed against sepsis. So, it could be important to get the MMR vaccination as an adult to protect better against COVID-related sepsis."

A similar concept is being tested in other countries. The authors write "at least six clinical trials have been initiated in Europe, Australia, and the United States to test vaccination with Mycobacterium bovis BCG (live attenuated tuberculosis [TB] vaccine) or placebo in high-risk health care workers to determine whether beneficial trained innate responses against COVID-19 can be elicited."

In contrast, Fidel and Noverr propose that the trained innate response includes induction of the MDSCs that can inhibit/reduce the severe lung inflammation/sepsis associated with COVID-19.

"While we initiate the clinical trials and animal model studies to test the hypothesis that the MMR vaccine given to adults induces the bystander cells that we propose can inhibit the severe lung inflammation/sepsis associated with COVID-19 infection, we suggest adults working in high-risk settings who are not immunocompromised, pregnant or allergic to vaccinations, get an MMR vaccine/booster," Fidel concludes. "If we're correct, an MMR-vaccinated person may suffer less if infected with COVID-19. If we're wrong, the person has better immunity to measles, mumps, and rubella. A sort of no harm no foul action."
-end-
Support for this work came from the Foundation of the National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of the National Institutes of Health and the Louisiana Clinical and Translational Science (LA CaTS) Center.

LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans educates Louisiana's health care professionals. The state's flagship health sciences university, LSU Health New Orleans includes a School of Medicine with branch campuses in Baton Rouge and Lafayette, the state's only School of Dentistry, Louisiana's only public School of Public Health, and Schools of Allied Health Professions, Nursing, and Graduate Studies. LSU Health New Orleans faculty take care of patients in public and private hospitals and clinics throughout the region. In the vanguard of biosciences research in a number of areas in a worldwide arena, the LSU Health New Orleans research enterprise generates jobs and enormous economic impact. LSU Health New Orleans faculty have made lifesaving discoveries and continue to work to prevent, advance treatment, or cure disease. To learn more, visit http://www.lsuhsc.edu, http://www.twitter.com/LSUHealthNO, or http://www.facebook.com/LSUHSC.

Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center

Related Sepsis Articles:

Milestone for the early detection of sepsis
Researchers from Graz, Austria, are developing a ground-breaking method that uses biomarkers to detect sepsis 2 to 3 days before the first clinical symptoms appear.
Breast milk may help prevent sepsis in preemies
Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., have found -- in newborn mice -- that a component of breast milk may help protect premature babies from developing life-threatening sepsis.
Finding a new way to fight late-stage sepsis
Researchers have developed a way to prop up a struggling immune system to enable its fight against sepsis, a deadly condition resulting from the body's extreme reaction to infection.
Study: Sepsis survivors require follow-up support
Survivors of sepsis -- a life-threatening response to an infection -- have expressed a need for advocacy and follow-up support, according to a study authored by professors at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis, and published in Dimensions of Critical Care Nursing.
After decades of little progress, researchers may be catching up to sepsis
After decades of little or no progress, biomedical researchers are finally making some headway at detecting and treating sepsis, a deadly medical complication that sends a surge of pathogenic infection through the body and remains a major public health problem.
Study changes guidelines for sepsis management
University of Arizona Health Sciences researcher ends debate among physicians regarding sepsis management.
Improving outcomes for sepsis patients
More than 1 million sepsis survivors are discharged annually from acute care hospitals in the United States.
Genes linked to death from sepsis ID'd in mice
Bacteria in the bloodstream can trigger an overwhelming immune response that causes sepsis.
Identifying therapeutic targets in sepsis' cellular videogame
Exciting new research has defined the chain of molecular events that goes awry in sepsis, opening up opportunities for new treatments to fight the condition that affects more than a million Americans each year and kills up to a third of them.
New computer-aided model may help predict sepsis
Can a computer-aided model predict life-threatening sepsis? A model developed in the UK that uses routinely collected data to identify early symptoms of sepsis, published in CMAJ, shows promise.
More Sepsis News and Sepsis Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Making Amends
What makes a true apology? What does it mean to make amends for past mistakes? This hour, TED speakers explore how repairing the wrongs of the past is the first step toward healing for the future. Guests include historian and preservationist Brent Leggs, law professor Martha Minow, librarian Dawn Wacek, and playwright V (formerly Eve Ensler).
Now Playing: Science for the People

#566 Is Your Gut Leaking?
This week we're busting the human gut wide open with Dr. Alessio Fasano from the Center for Celiac Research and Treatment at Massachusetts General Hospital. Join host Anika Hazra for our discussion separating fact from fiction on the controversial topic of leaky gut syndrome. We cover everything from what causes a leaky gut to interpreting the results of a gut microbiome test! Related links: Center for Celiac Research and Treatment website and their YouTube channel
Now Playing: Radiolab

The Flag and the Fury
How do you actually make change in the world? For 126 years, Mississippi has had the Confederate battle flag on their state flag, and they were the last state in the nation where that emblem remained "officially" flying.  A few days ago, that flag came down. A few days before that, it coming down would have seemed impossible. We dive into the story behind this de-flagging: a journey involving a clash of histories, designs, families, and even cheerleading. This show is a collaboration with OSM Audio. Kiese Laymon's memoir Heavy is here. And the Hospitality Flag webpage is here.