Developing the concept of beneficial non-specific effect of live vaccines with epidemiological studies

P. Aaby*, C. S. Benn

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReviewResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Background: Epidemiological and immunological studies are increasingly reporting non-specific effects (NSEs) of vaccines; i.e. vaccines may affect the risk and severity of non-targeted infections. We reviewed how epidemiological studies developed the concept of beneficial NSEs of live vaccines. Sources: This is a personal narrative of how we came to pursue the concept of NSEs in studies of measles vaccine (MV) from the late 1970s. We also searched Pubmed for epidemiological studies of nonspecific/non-specific effects (NSEs) of the most common human vaccines. Content: When smallpox vaccine was introduced around 1800, bacillus Calmette–Guérin (BCG) against tuberculosis in the 1920s and oral polio vaccine (OPV) in the 1960s, there were suggestions that these live attenuated vaccines reduced mortality more than expected. However, scientific follow-up was limited and the concept of beneficial NSEs did not become mainstream. We observed beneficial NSEs after MV was introduced in low-income countries in the 1970s. Subsequent observational studies and randomized trials confirmed beneficial NSEs of smallpox vaccine, BCG and OPV. Recently, beneficial NSEs have been claimed for the non-live diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis and rabies vaccines. However, no non-live vaccine has yet been documented to produce beneficial NSEs. Implications: Observational and experimental research has shown beneficial NSEs of four live attenuated vaccines: smallpox vaccine, BCG, OPV and MV. With immunological evidence now supporting the epidemiological observations, it is urgent to take both the specific and NSEs into account in the planning of vaccination programmes.

Original languageEnglish
JournalClinical Microbiology and Infection
ISSN1198-743X
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 23. Aug 2019

Fingerprint

Epidemiologic Studies
Smallpox Vaccine
Attenuated Vaccines
Personal Narratives
Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis Vaccine
Rabies Vaccines
PubMed
Research

Keywords

  • BCG
  • measles vaccine
  • non-specific effects of vaccines
  • oral polio vaccine
  • smallpox vaccine

Cite this

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title = "Developing the concept of beneficial non-specific effect of live vaccines with epidemiological studies",
abstract = "Background: Epidemiological and immunological studies are increasingly reporting non-specific effects (NSEs) of vaccines; i.e. vaccines may affect the risk and severity of non-targeted infections. We reviewed how epidemiological studies developed the concept of beneficial NSEs of live vaccines. Sources: This is a personal narrative of how we came to pursue the concept of NSEs in studies of measles vaccine (MV) from the late 1970s. We also searched Pubmed for epidemiological studies of nonspecific/non-specific effects (NSEs) of the most common human vaccines. Content: When smallpox vaccine was introduced around 1800, bacillus Calmette–Gu{\'e}rin (BCG) against tuberculosis in the 1920s and oral polio vaccine (OPV) in the 1960s, there were suggestions that these live attenuated vaccines reduced mortality more than expected. However, scientific follow-up was limited and the concept of beneficial NSEs did not become mainstream. We observed beneficial NSEs after MV was introduced in low-income countries in the 1970s. Subsequent observational studies and randomized trials confirmed beneficial NSEs of smallpox vaccine, BCG and OPV. Recently, beneficial NSEs have been claimed for the non-live diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis and rabies vaccines. However, no non-live vaccine has yet been documented to produce beneficial NSEs. Implications: Observational and experimental research has shown beneficial NSEs of four live attenuated vaccines: smallpox vaccine, BCG, OPV and MV. With immunological evidence now supporting the epidemiological observations, it is urgent to take both the specific and NSEs into account in the planning of vaccination programmes.",
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Developing the concept of beneficial non-specific effect of live vaccines with epidemiological studies. / Aaby, P.; Benn, C. S.

In: Clinical Microbiology and Infection, 23.08.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalReviewResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Developing the concept of beneficial non-specific effect of live vaccines with epidemiological studies

AU - Aaby, P.

AU - Benn, C. S.

PY - 2019/8/23

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N2 - Background: Epidemiological and immunological studies are increasingly reporting non-specific effects (NSEs) of vaccines; i.e. vaccines may affect the risk and severity of non-targeted infections. We reviewed how epidemiological studies developed the concept of beneficial NSEs of live vaccines. Sources: This is a personal narrative of how we came to pursue the concept of NSEs in studies of measles vaccine (MV) from the late 1970s. We also searched Pubmed for epidemiological studies of nonspecific/non-specific effects (NSEs) of the most common human vaccines. Content: When smallpox vaccine was introduced around 1800, bacillus Calmette–Guérin (BCG) against tuberculosis in the 1920s and oral polio vaccine (OPV) in the 1960s, there were suggestions that these live attenuated vaccines reduced mortality more than expected. However, scientific follow-up was limited and the concept of beneficial NSEs did not become mainstream. We observed beneficial NSEs after MV was introduced in low-income countries in the 1970s. Subsequent observational studies and randomized trials confirmed beneficial NSEs of smallpox vaccine, BCG and OPV. Recently, beneficial NSEs have been claimed for the non-live diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis and rabies vaccines. However, no non-live vaccine has yet been documented to produce beneficial NSEs. Implications: Observational and experimental research has shown beneficial NSEs of four live attenuated vaccines: smallpox vaccine, BCG, OPV and MV. With immunological evidence now supporting the epidemiological observations, it is urgent to take both the specific and NSEs into account in the planning of vaccination programmes.

AB - Background: Epidemiological and immunological studies are increasingly reporting non-specific effects (NSEs) of vaccines; i.e. vaccines may affect the risk and severity of non-targeted infections. We reviewed how epidemiological studies developed the concept of beneficial NSEs of live vaccines. Sources: This is a personal narrative of how we came to pursue the concept of NSEs in studies of measles vaccine (MV) from the late 1970s. We also searched Pubmed for epidemiological studies of nonspecific/non-specific effects (NSEs) of the most common human vaccines. Content: When smallpox vaccine was introduced around 1800, bacillus Calmette–Guérin (BCG) against tuberculosis in the 1920s and oral polio vaccine (OPV) in the 1960s, there were suggestions that these live attenuated vaccines reduced mortality more than expected. However, scientific follow-up was limited and the concept of beneficial NSEs did not become mainstream. We observed beneficial NSEs after MV was introduced in low-income countries in the 1970s. Subsequent observational studies and randomized trials confirmed beneficial NSEs of smallpox vaccine, BCG and OPV. Recently, beneficial NSEs have been claimed for the non-live diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis and rabies vaccines. However, no non-live vaccine has yet been documented to produce beneficial NSEs. Implications: Observational and experimental research has shown beneficial NSEs of four live attenuated vaccines: smallpox vaccine, BCG, OPV and MV. With immunological evidence now supporting the epidemiological observations, it is urgent to take both the specific and NSEs into account in the planning of vaccination programmes.

KW - BCG

KW - measles vaccine

KW - non-specific effects of vaccines

KW - oral polio vaccine

KW - smallpox vaccine

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DO - 10.1016/j.cmi.2019.08.011

M3 - Review

JO - Clinical Microbiology and Infection

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SN - 1198-743X

ER -