Bordetella pertussis is a Gram-negative bacterium that causes the severe and sometimes lethal respiratory disease whooping cough in infants and children. There has been a recent resurgence in the number of cases of pertussis in several countries with high vaccine coverage. This has been linked with waning or ineffective immunity induced by current acellular pertussis vaccines. These acellular pertussis vaccines are formulated with alum as the adjuvant, which promotes strong antibody responses but is less effective at inducing Th1-type responses crucial for effective bacterial clearance. Studies in animal models have demonstrated that replacing alum with alternative adjuvants, such as toll-like receptor agonists, can promote more robust cell-mediated immunity and confer a high level of protection against infection following respiratory challenge.
Journal:Expert Rev Vaccines. 2014