Can BCG vaccination help prevent allergies, infection and eczema?


The MIS BAIR trial

The Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine, a 100-year-old vaccine usually given to protect against tuberculosis, also has ‘off-target’ effects on the immune system that protect against other infections and allergic diseases.

Since 2015, the MIS BAIR trial has been investigating the clinical and immunological effects of the BCG vaccine in Australian infants. In this NHMRC-funded randomised trial of neonatal BCG vaccination, over 1200 infants in Melbourne have been followed up for over 5 years to investigate the impact of this vaccine on food allergy, eczema, respiratory infection and asthma. In addition, parallel immunological and molecular studies have explored the mechanisms underlying BCG’s immunomodulatory effects.



Professor Nigel Curtis is a paediatric infectious diseases physician and clinician scientist. He is Professor of Paediatric Infectious Diseases at the University of Melbourne, leader of the Infectious Diseases Research Group at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and Head of Infectious Diseases at The Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne. Nigel is the Chief Principal Investigator of the MIS BAIR trial. Twitter @nigeltwitt


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