Multiple consecutive infections might explain the lack of protection by bcg

Pere Joan Cardona, Cristina Vilaplana

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Although contacts between tuberculosis patients may result in multiple consecutive infections (MCI), no experimental animal models consider this fact when used in basic studies. Moreover, the current TB vaccine (BCG) has demonstrated a limited protection in humans. In this study we evaluate the effect of tuberculosis MCI by way of a simple mathematical analysis using data from the low dose aerosol murine experimental model. The results show that a higher number of, or shorter intervals between, multiple consecutive infections reduce the protective effect of BCG. This is due to both the increase in bacillary load at the stationary level of the infection, and the protective immune response induced by the infection itself. This factor must therefore be taken into account when designing new prophylactic strategies as candidate vaccines for the replacement of BCG. © 2014 Cardona, Vilaplana.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere94736
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 16 Apr 2014

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