Study reveals BCG vaccine's unexpected role in fighting influenza

NewsGuard 100/100 Score

As Canada's flu season collides with record strep A cases and ongoing COVID-19 concerns, a new study is shedding light on our understanding of respiratory immune responses. Scholars from the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC) have discovered a surprising facet about a century-old vaccine for tuberculosis, Bacillus Calmette Guérin (BCG). The study, published in the journal Nature Immunology, uncovered a previously unknown mechanism that extends the vaccine's shield to combat influenza A virus-;the most prevalent flu strain.

The immune interactions involved here can 'train' the lungs, which are frequently exposed to infectious agents in the environment. If we can map out the protective immune pathways involved in the lungs, this will revolutionize our conceptual and clinical approaches in developing vaccines against infections, including emergent respiratory viruses."

Maziar Divangahi, lead author, pulmonary immunologist, senior scientist at the RI-MUHC, and Professor of Medicine at McGill University

The discovery paves the way for future studies to assess whether BCG could be used to prevent other emergent viruses. Notably, research on the vaccine's protection against COVID-19 has had promising results.

Journal reference:

Tran, K. A., et al. (2024). BCG immunization induces CX3CR1hi effector memory T cells to provide cross-protection via IFN-γ-mediated trained immunity. Nature Immunology.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
Post a new comment

While we only use edited and approved content for Azthena answers, it may on occasions provide incorrect responses. Please confirm any data provided with the related suppliers or authors. We do not provide medical advice, if you search for medical information you must always consult a medical professional before acting on any information provided.

Your questions, but not your email details will be shared with OpenAI and retained for 30 days in accordance with their privacy principles.

Please do not ask questions that use sensitive or confidential information.

Read the full Terms & Conditions.

You might also like...
Avian flu's leap to humans: Understanding risks and prevention strategies