Need a new vaccine? Pertussis became superbacteria

every year in the world die from pertussis tens of thousands of people. Scientists and physicians concerned about this trend. Because of this very infectious and deadly for babies of the disease people were vaccinated in childhood.

the cause of a new round of the disease was a bacteria of the species Bordetella pertussis. Some time ago, Australian scientists have found that it has developed new coping mechanisms that allow her to remain invisible to the human immune system and resistant to vaccination. In other words, pertussis has become superbacteria.

the attention of specialists was attracted by pertussis in the period from 2008 to 2012. At this time Australia experienced a surge of diseases, despite a high percentage of vaccinated against pertussis of people. This epidemic peaked in 2011, when there were about 40 thousand new cases of the disease.

After a series of studies of Australian scientists announced an important discovery. They found that the strains of B. pertussis are so adapted to the existing acellular vaccine (ACV) used in Australia that ceased to react to it. Note that ACV is similar to the vaccine from this disease, used in other countries, so this problem is not confined to Australia.

“We found that strains of pertussis have evolved to improve their survival, regardless of whether people are vaccinated or not, – explains the head of the latter research microbiologist Lawrence Luu (Luu Laurence) from the University of New South Wales in Australia. – In other words, now the bacteria that cause pertussis, better hide, better feed and turn into superbugs”.

According to the data obtained after the analysis of proteins located on the surface of B. pertussis, new strains of this organism produce more proteins that bind nutrients and more transport proteins, but proteins less immunogenic.

As explained by experts, this suggests that new strains of bacteria are more viable than the previous generation pathogen and can still actively take nutrients from their hosts while avoiding the attacks of the human immune system.

as for the situation for vaccinated people, according to Lu, these people can become infected with bacteria that cause pertussis, but the disease will proceed without displaying symptoms.

“Thus, the bacteria can still colonize you and survive without causing the disease itself, that is, you possibly will not even know that an infected due to the lack of symptoms, explains Lu. – Another problem relating to [the existing] vaccine is that the immunity [the vaccination] is rapidly eroding, so we need a new vaccine that will be better able to protect people from evolving strains, to stop transmission of the disease and provide longer immunity.”

By the way, in the latest work researchers have identified new antigens that are potential targets for future vaccines.

the Researchers hope that the new drug against whooping cough will be developed and introduced into clinical practice over the next five to ten years.

Also, specialists say, their discovery does not mean that it is not necessary to get vaccinated against whooping cough existing vaccines.

“it is Extremely important that people are vaccinated to prevent the spread of pertussis. The current vaccine is still effective for protection against this disease, but in the long term should be developed a new vaccine,” concludes Professor Justin DOE (Ruiting Lan).

Article with a detailed description of the new scientific work published in the journal Vaccine.

Note that a greater risk of Contracting whooping cough are infants under six months, people living with a person contaminated with the bacterium B. pertussis, the people who work with children and the elderly, and those who have not been vaccinated against pertussis in the past 10 years. Re-vaccination against whooping cough also should go to all women who want to conceive.

the aggravation of the situation with whooping cough, doctors typically see in the spring. Infection occurs when a sick person coughs or sneezes. One of the signs of the disease is a strong unproductive “barking” cough and difficulty breathing.

Until scientists develop a new vaccine against whooping cough, mathematics explain the distrust of the people to vaccination. The reasons for this phenomenon “News.Science” ( wrote earlier. We talked about the fact that destroy superbugs will help to “armed” oxygen.

Text: To.Science