Research ArticleSepsis

BCG vaccination–induced emergency granulopoiesis provides rapid protection from neonatal sepsis

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Science Translational Medicine  06 May 2020:
Vol. 12, Issue 542, eaax4517
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aax4517

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  • RE: TITLE: TECHNICAL COMMENT ON “BCG VACCINATION-INDUCED EMERGENCY GRANULOPOIESIS PROVIDES RAPID PROTECTION FROM NEONATAL SEPSIS”.
    • Paulo Antas, Instituto Oswaldo Cruz-Fiocruz, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; and Department of Infectious Diseases, LUMC, Leiden, The Netherlands.
    • Other Contributors:
      • Andreon Silva, Instituto Oswaldo Cruz-Fiocruz, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
      • Evelyn Pereira, Instituto Oswaldo Cruz-Fiocruz, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
      • Carlos Ponte, Instituto Oswaldo Cruz-Fiocruz, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; and Instituto Nacional de Ciência e Tecnologia em Tuberculose (INCT-TB).

    Authors: P. R. Z. Antas1,2,3,4, A. Silva1; E. Pereira1; C. G. G. Ponte1,2

    Affiliation: 1Instituto Oswaldo Cruz-Fiocruz, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 2Instituto Nacional de Ciência e Tecnologia em Tuberculose (INCT-TB), Brazil, and 3Department of Infectious Diseases, Leiden University Medical Centre, Leiden, The Netherlands. 4Corresponding author.

    We read with interest the recent article by Brook et al. [1] describing emergency granulopoiesis (EG) in both mice and human neonates following immunisation with the Danish strain of bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG). We have previously reported on BCG’s pathogen-agnostic protective effects in monocytes from umbilical cord blood from human neonates and peripheral blood from adults [2]. Brook et al. [1] found that BCG was protective in a mouse model of neonatal polymicrobial sepsis via increased G-CSF production within hours of BCG administration. The vaccine also led to a rapid marked EG response in human neonates. BCG induced rapid changes in gene signatures consistent with EG, which were detectable in three independent cohorts. These responses may explain the decreased susceptibility to infectious agents, and prophylactic usage of rG-CSF in high-risk newborns has been proposed [1].
    We report unpublished data about the role of G-CSF. We assayed by Luminex BCG-induced G-CSF levels in 23 samples of umbilical cord blood (“BCG naïve”) in parallel with G-CSF levels in 17 otherwise healthy donor adults in Brazil (anonymous...

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    Competing Interests: None declared.

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