Whooping cough strain now immune to vaccine

Community Leader
Registered: 10-01-2010
Whooping cough strain now immune to vaccine
Sun, 09-02-2012 - 10:00am

Whooping cough strain now immune to vaccine

THE bacteria that causes whooping cough has mutated, eroding the protection provided by the vaccine now given to children, scientists warned yesterday.

University of NSW researchers have identified significant changes in the two most common strains of the bordetella pertussis bacteria, which they also traced back to events in the late 1990s.

Australian children were given a broad-acting "whole cell" vaccination against whooping cough up to 1997, but this was phased out over two years and replaced with a more targeted version.

Concerns over potential side-effects were behind the change to a vaccine with a narrower scope, but this now appears to have contributed to the promotion of resistant strains.

"A key issue is that the whole cell vaccine contained hundreds of antigens, which gave broad protection against many strains of pertussis," UNSW School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences associate professor Ruiting Lan said.

Read more: http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/whooping-cough-strain-now-immune-to-vaccine/story-e6freuy9-1225828959714

Avatar for Cmmelissa
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-13-2008
Fri, 09-07-2012 - 3:51pm
Ugh, that's not good to hear at all. I wish they could find some way to stem the increase in whooping cough cases, it's getting so bad in some areas of the country.

Community Leader
Registered: 07-26-1999
Wed, 09-19-2012 - 10:27am

I thought this was interesting:

B. pertussis whooping cough is a cyclical disease with natural increases that tend to occur every 4-5 years, no matter how high the vaccination rate is in a population using DPT/DTaP or Tdap vaccines on a widespread basis. Whole cell DPT vaccines used in the U.S. from the 1950's until the late 1990's were estimated to be 63 to 94 percent effective and studies showed that vaccine-acquired immunity fell to about 40 percent after seven years.

In the study regarding the 2010 California outbreak (http://cid.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2012/03/13/cid.cis287), the researchers noted the vaccine's effectiveness was only 41 percent among 2- to 7-year-olds and a dismal 24 percent among those aged 8-12. With this shockingly low rate of DTaP vaccine effectiveness, the questionable solution public health officials have come up with is to declare that everybody has to get three primary shots and three follow-up booster shots in order to get long-lasting protection. (http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6001a4.htm?s_cid=mm6001a4_w)