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Clinical evidence strongly suggests that certain live vaccines, in particular bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) and measles vaccines, can reduce all-cause mortality, most probably through protection against non-targeted pathogens in addition to the targeted pathogen. The underlying mechanisms are currently unknown. We discuss how heterologous lymphocyte activation and innate immune memory could promote protection beyond the intended target pathogen and consider how vaccinologists could leverage heterologous immunity to improve outcomes in vulnerable populations, in particular the very young and the elderly.


Journal article


Nature reviews. Immunology

Publication Date





392 - 400


Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, 8700 Beverly Boulevard, Los Angeles, California 90048, USA.