Whooping cough vaccine less effective because bacteria is mutating, study says

Whooping cough vaccine less effective because bacteria is mutating, study says (nbcnews.com)

[NBC News, 3/13/19]  CDC researchers hope new data will speed development of improved vaccine.

The vaccine for whooping cough doesn’t work as well as it used to.

New research suggests it’s largely because the bacteria behind the disease has mutated.

Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention analyzed lab samples from patients with whooping cough between 2000 and 2013 and found Bordetella pertussis, which causes whooping cough, has gone through genetic changes over time.

That means the current vaccine is not a perfect match to the bacteria.

Researchers hope the new data published Wednesday in the journal “Emerging Infectious Diseases” will help change that.

“The genomic data we provide will aid open research toward improved vaccine development and disease control strategies,” the CDC authors wrote in their report.

Infectious disease experts agree.

“The pertussis vaccine is not optimal,”

said Dr. William Schaffner, professor of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

“We’re making the best use of the vaccine, while we’re frantically doing research to make a better one,” said Schaffner. But a new vaccine for whooping cough is nowhere near ready, he said…..


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