Soon after whooping cough outbreaks in 2010 to 2012 sent tens of thousands of people to doctors, the hammer of science dropped squarely on the acellular vaccine
. Physicians Nicola Klein and Roger Baxter and their team at the Kaiser Permanente Vaccine Study Center in Oakland, Calif., tapped into the massive Kaiser patient database to identify people who had gotten a course of acellular shots in early life.
This finding indicates that "cocooning"--vaccinating people who have contact with infants who have not completed the full series of the acellular vaccine
, to prevent transmission to those infants--is unlikely to reduce the burden of pertussis in infants, they noted.
The international team of researchers tested acellular vaccines
in infants during pertussis epidemics in Italy and Sweden.
The rise in cases was temporally related to the initiation of the acellular vaccine
, which carries the pertactin antigen.
The field of pertussis vaccination has undergone transition, with the introduction of the acellular vaccine
in 1991 and retirement of the whole cell vaccine in 2001.
"The durability of protection with the acellular vaccine
is not as good as with the whole cell vaccine, but the problem with the whole-cell vaccine was that it was quite reactive," causing local reactions and fevers, she said in an interview.
Boostrix is an acellular vaccine
developed with technology that improves safety and effectiveness.
But among the priorities of bringing new vaccines to human trials and the costs in time and money to do so, it is unclear to me if better acellular vaccines
are soon on the horizon.
In response to concerns about the side effects of the whole cell pertussis vaccine, acellular vaccines
were developed and replaced the use of whole-cell pertussis vaccines in the United States and many other countries in the 1990s.
The high rates of pertussis among adolescents aged 13-14 years in Washington reflect national trends and provide observational data suggesting early waning of immunity from acellular vaccines
A controlled trial of two acellular vaccines
and one whole-cell vaccine against pertussis.
The acellular pertussis vaccine, associated with fewer local and systemic reactions than the whole-cell vaccine, now is licensed for use for the fourth and fifth doses for children ages 15 month and older who have been immunized previously with at least three doses of the DTP vaccine. Additionally, acellular vaccines
reportedly are associated with less severe life-threatening reactions including shock, collapse, and encephalopathic reactions.