30 years after the introduction of the whole cell pertussis vaccine in the 1940s, few cases remained in the developed world—but now it is “probably the only vaccine-preventable disease that is currently on the rise,” writes Nicholas Carbonetti, associate professor of Microbiology & Immunology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.
Bad publicity over side effects tied to the original vaccine led to a less reactogenic acellular vaccine, which induces an inferior type of immune response that has likely fueled the re-emergence, he explains. And, there’s a near-complete lack of effective treatments.
Carbonetti and others see a need to develop a new vaccine, and believe pertussis deserves far more research attention.
Oxford University Press Blog