Could an Unrelated Live Attenuated Vaccine Serve as a Preventive Measure To Dampen Septic Inflammation Associated with COVID-19 Infection?
OPEN mBio | 21 Jun 2020
PL Fidel and MC Noverr
We propose the concept that administration of an unrelated live attenuated vaccine, such as MMR (measles, mumps, rubella), could serve as a preventive measure against the worst sequelae of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). There is mounting evidence that live attenuated vaccines provide nonspecific protection against lethal infections unrelated to the target pathogen of the vaccine by inducing “trained” nonspecific innate immune cells for improved host responses against subsequent infections. Mortality in COVID-19 cases is strongly associated with progressive lung inflammation and eventual sepsis. Vaccination with MMR in immunocompetent individuals has no contraindications and may be especially effective for health care workers who can easily be exposed to COVID-19. Following the lead of other countries conducting clinical trials with the live attenuated Mycobacterium bovis BCG (BCG) vaccine under a similar concept, a clinical trial with MMR in high-risk populations may provide a “low-risk-high-reward” preventive measure in saving lives during this unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic.
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