Bacillus Calmette-Guérin shares with virulent Mycobacterium tuberculosis the capacity to subvert monocyte differentiation into dendritic cell: implication for its efficacy as a vaccine preventing tuberculosis
Review articleOpen access

AbstractThe only available vaccine against tuberculosis (TB) is Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) whose efficacy in preventing pulmonary tuberculosis is however controversial. Here, we show that BCG infection of monocytes causes their differentiation into mature dendritic cells (DCs) lacking CD1 molecules expression, coupled with suboptimal up-regulation of HLA class II, CD80 and CD40 molecules and a marked unresponsiveness to lipopolysaccharide stimulation. In addition, alloreactive naïve T lymphocytes primed by these subverted DCs did not undergo defined functional polarization, as witnessed by their inability to produce IFN-γ. Since efficient antigen presentation and IFN-γ production by mycobacterial-specific T lymphocytes are required for protection against Mycobacterium tuberculosis, our data might provide additional explanation for the low efficacy of BCG vaccination.

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