The role of B. pertussis vaccine antigen gene variants in pertussis resurgence and possible consequences for vaccine development.

Whooping cough, or pertussis, caused by Bordetella pertussis is considered resurgent in a number of countries world-wide, despite continued high level vaccine coverage. Among a number of causes for this that have been proposed, is the emergence of B. pertussis strains expressing variants of the antigens contained in acellular pertussis vaccines; i.e. the evolution of B. pertussis towards vaccine escape. This commentary highlights the contradictory nature of evidence for this but also discusses the importance of understanding the role of B. pertussis adaptation to vaccine-mediated immune selection pressures for vaccine-mediated pertussis control strategies.

Author:Preston A1.
Journal:Hum Vaccin Immunother. 2016