A study carried out at the Complutense University of Madrid has detected that the triple triple bacterial DTP vaccine (for diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis) could protect against COVID-19, as reported by the Madrid center. “In a work carried out by Pedro A. Reche, a researcher at the Complutense University, the existence of extensive cross-immunity between the SARS-CoV-2 virus and antigens present in the triple bacterial DTP vaccine has been computationally identified”, explains the UCM in an informational note. The study has been published in Frontiers in Immunology.
The department of Immunology of the Faculty of Medicine ventures that this could be the explanation why COVID seriously affects the elderly but not children, since this triple vaccine is administered throughout the world during the first year of life (with between 3 and 4 doses) and is reinforced at 4-6 years, “being able to induce a strong immune memory with cross-reactivity against the virus”, explains the university. “This immunity surely declines over time, correlating with the severity with which COVID-19 is shown as the age of the patients increases, reaching its maximum in the geriatric population,” the center concludes.
With this information, the Complutense suggests that “it would be advisable to consider the use of this vaccine or one of its derivatives with a lower antigenic load in the general population and thus enhance the immune response against SARS-CoV-2”. In addition, the study adds, the way the vaccine is administered would also influence its effectiveness. “Despite the fact that DTP is administered globally, there are different versions (cellular vs acellular). The study shows a higher incidence of COVID-19 severity in countries, including ours, where acellular DTP is administered. ”
The study also explains that common viruses, including rhinovirus, respiratory syncytial virus, influenzavirus or various types of herpes viruses do not generate this cross-immunity with SARS-COV-2, “ruling out that the immunological memory against these viruses may have some type of general protection or a pathological role in COVID-19 “, in contrast to the DTP vaccine.