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BCG vaccine associated with reduced risk of infection with COVID-19: Study

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Widely used tuberculosis vaccines are associated with a reduced chance of infection COVID-19 (new coronavirus infection) (# If there is no character limit, add parentheses when it first appears (Coronavirus), according to a new study by Cedars-Sinai. The findings raise the possibility that vaccines already approved by the US Food and Drug Administration will help prevent coronavirus infections or reduce the severity of the disease.

Scanning electron micrograph of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which is the causative agent of tuberculosis. NIAID

The vaccine, known as Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG), was developed between 1908 and 1921 and is given annually to more than 100 million children worldwide. In the United States, it is approved by the FDA as a treatment for bladder cancer and as a vaccine for people at high risk of developing tuberculosis. The BCG vaccine is currently being tested in multiple clinical trials worldwide for its efficacy against COVID-19.

The new study was published online on November 19th Clinical research journalResearchers have tested the blood of more than 6,000 healthcare professionals in the Cedars-Sinai Health System for evidence of antibodies to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, and their history and vaccination history. I also asked about.

They found that previously BCG-vaccinated workers (about 30% of those surveyed) were significantly less likely to test positive for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in their blood, or coronavirus. Or they have found that they are much less likely to report an infection with coronavirus-related symptoms. For the past 6 months than those who have not received BCG. These effects were independent of whether workers were vaccinated against Neisseria meningitidis, Streptococcus pneumoniae, or influenza.

According to the report, it was not clear why SARS-CoV-2 antibody levels were low in the BCG group. Moshe Arditi, MD, Director of the Department of Pediatrics and Infectious Diseases and Immunology at Cedars-Sinai, and co-lead author of the study.

“Individuals vaccinated with BCG may have less illness and therefore less production of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies or have shown a more efficient cellular immune response to the virus,” said Pediatrics. And Professor Arditi of Pediatrics said. Biomedical sciences. “Because the BCG vaccine has long been known to have a general preventive effect on a variety of non-tuberculosis bacterial and viral diseases, such as neonatal septicemia and respiratory infections, we have a BCG vaccine. I was interested in my research. “

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In a new study, low antibody levels in the BCG group persisted despite the fact that these individuals had a high frequency of hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and COPD. These are susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 and are known risk factors for their onset. A more severe form of COVID-19 disease.

Arditi does not believe that BCG is more effective than certain vaccines for COVID-19, but is approved more quickly due to its strong safety profile proven by years of use. , Explained that it may be available. “This is an important bridge that has the potential to bring some benefits until the most effective and safe COVID-19 vaccine becomes widely available,” he said.

“Based on our findings, we believe that large-scale randomized clinical trials are urgently needed to see if BCG vaccination can elicit a protective effect against SARS-CoV2 infection.” It states. Susan Chen, MD, MPH, MMSc, Associate Professor of Cardiology at Cedars Sinai’s Smitheart Institute and Director of Public Health Research. She was the other co-author of this study.The first author is Dr. Magalino Barribas, Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Cedars-Sinai.

In fact, several randomized clinical trials have been initiated to study the potential protective effect of BCG vaccination against COVID-19. Cedars Sinai, along with the University of Texas A & M, Baylor College of Medicine, and the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, is the site of the US division of this ongoing trial that is recruiting hundreds of healthcare professionals. Arditi is the lead investigator for this clinical trial at Cedars-Sinai.

“It would be great if one of the oldest vaccines we have could help defeat the latest pandemics in the world,” Alditi said.

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