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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