Pertussis: acellular, whole-cell, new vaccines, what to choose?

Pertussis or whooping cough, caused by Bordetella pertussis is a severe respiratory disease that can be fatal in young infants. Two types of vaccines are available and widely used, first-generation whole-cell vaccines (wPV) and more recent acellular vaccines (aPV). Nevertheless, pertussis is still not under control, and its incidence is rising in several countries that have switched from wPV to aPV. Both protect against disease, but none of them prevents infection, as shown in a recently developed baboon model. Yet, asymptomatic B. pertussis transmission may be the single most important cause for the resurgence of pertussis. Vaccines that prevent infection in addition to disease are needed to ultimately control whooping cough. Although one such vaccine is in clinical development, it will still take years before it can be used. Meanwhile, recent evidence shows that aPV is effective for vaccination during pregnancy to protect the newborns against severe and deadly pertussis.

Authors:Locht C.
Journal:Expert Rev Vaccines. 2016