Harnessing the beneficial heterologous effects of vaccination.
Goodridge HS., Ahmed SS., Curtis N., Kollmann TR., Levy O., Netea MG., Pollard AJ., van Crevel R., Wilson CB.
Clinical evidence strongly suggests that certain live vaccines, in particular bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) and measles vaccines, can reduce all-cause mortality, most probably through protection against non-targeted pathogens in addition to the targeted pathogen. The underlying mechanisms are currently unknown. We discuss how heterologous lymphocyte activation and innate immune memory could promote protection beyond the intended target pathogen and consider how vaccinologists could leverage heterologous immunity to improve outcomes in vulnerable populations, in particular the very young and the elderly.