HOW THE BCG VACCINE CAN HELP PREVENT
TYPE 1 DIABETES?
The BCG vaccine is used to protect against tuberculosis infection. In many countries with a high prevalence of tuberculosis, BCG is used to prevent tuberculosis meningitis and miliary illness in children. The vaccine’s effectiveness against adult pulmonary tuberculosis varies depending on other factors, such as the vaccine’s propensity to interfere with tuberculin skin test reactivity. This vaccine should only be considered for a small number of persons who meet specified requirements and have had extensive consultation with a tuberculosis expert.
WHAT RECENT RESEARCH HAS FOUND?
Positive results and trials of the BCG vaccine to safely and significantly aid in decreasing blood sugar levels were updated at the recent Annual Scientific Sessions of the American Diabetes Association, 2021, with renowned researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital.
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition for which there is presently no therapy. T cells assault the pancreas and destroy its capacity to generate insulin, which is a necessary hormone that allows glucose to enter the body’s cells and produce energy. BCG has been found to increase the production of a chemical called TNF, which is important for killing dangerous T cells and promoting the formation of healthy T cells known as regulatory T cells, or Tregs.
WHAT ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT ASPECTS OF THE REPORTS?
If we focus on the most important aspects of the findings, we can claim that the BCG vaccine response varies depending on parameters such as the age of the patient at the time of commencement, as well as more evidence for the involvement of BCG vaccination in altering glucose transport and changing Tregs. Looking at the numbers, we can deduce that 143 people with type one diabetes had received at least two doses of BCG, including twenty-five patients involved in a recently initiated trial of adults with diabetes onset. This year, the MGH hopes to start a multi-centre paediatric trial.
Patients with type 1 diabetes who had been living with it for a long time were able to get the disease under control thanks to the BCG vaccine’s potential. For more than five years, the patients successfully raised their sugar levels to normal levels, with no need for re-vaccination. If a patient can return their blood sugar levels to near normal or normal, this is considered an endpoint for diabetes clinical trials, which the BCG vaccine is well suited for. Insulin consumption was cut in half, which was a huge relief.
THE FINAL WORDS?
BCG, a 100-year-old vaccination, continues to provide new gifts to humanity in various ways, including its effectiveness in preventing Type 1 Diabetes. This vaccine is the most commonly used vaccination in the history of medicine, and it is also one of the most cost-effective medical options, costing less than a dollar per dose in many parts of the world.
Though the results vary across adults, they have been extremely effective in achieving the goal for which it was created. This has been a watershed moment for patients who have been trying to find a solution to overcome Type 1 diabetes.