Purpose of review
To discuss recently discovered mechanisms of action of some bacterial vaccines that may account for their clinical benefit in the prevention of recurrent wheezing and asthma exacerbations in infants and early childhood.
Trained immunity has been shown to confer innate immune cells with a quite long-term nonspecific protection against a broad spectrum of pathogens. Inducers of trained immunity include some bacterial vaccines. Trained immunity-based vaccines (TIbV) of bacterial origin have the capability to induce nonspecific responses to a variety of pathogens, including respiratory viruses, in addition to their nominal bacterial antigens. Clinical data, from epidemiological surveys to well designed randomized clinical trials, indicate that TIbV formulated with bacteria prevent respiratory tract infections of viral cause, such as those associated with recurrent wheezing or asthma exacerbation, in children. Administration of these vaccines by the mucosal route may be important for their outcome in respiratory infections.
Mucosal bacterial immunotherapy, including certain TIbV, confer protection against a broad spectrum of pathogens, such as viruses, through a mechanism mediated by trained immunity. Clinical studies on the use of these preparations against recurrent wheezing reflect these mechanistic effects. These findings open a new avenue for the development of new strategies for this condition.