Consumption function junction

Published May 7, 2020

The tuber­cu­lo­sis vac­cine (Bacillus Calmette-Guérin or BCG to its friends) is a bit odd — in a good way. It not only pro­tects new­borns from TB but also oth­er infec­tions, most impor­tant­ly sepsis.

But no one knew why.

That’s changed. It’s all about the white blood cells and a phe­nom­e­non known as “emer­gency granulopoiesis.”

[Researchers] iden­ti­fied a dra­mat­ic and rapid increase in neutrophils—white blood cells that patrol the body and destroy invad­ing bac­te­r­i­al pathogens—in mice and babies with­in three days of BCG vaccination.

The down­side: It only works for newborns.

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