Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New discovery may lead the way to improved whooping cough vaccine

Date:
May 10, 2013
Source:
Trinity College Dublin
Summary:
Scientists have made novel discoveries concerning the current vaccine against whooping cough that may lead to the development of an improved future vaccine.

Scientists at Trinity College Dublin have made novel discoveries concerning the current vaccine against whooping cough that may lead to the development of an improved future vaccine. The findings could help reduce the incidence of the disease which is increasing in developed countries. The research led by Professor of Experimental Immunology, Kingston Mills has just been published in the journal PLoS Pathogens.

A new vaccine against whooping cough, caused by the bacteria Bordetella pertussis was first introduced to the routine vaccination schedule for infants and children in most developed countries, including Ireland over a decade ago. Prior to the introduction of this vaccine, children were immunised with a vaccine made from whole bacteria. Although this 'whole cell pertussis vaccine' was effective at preventing the infection, it had been associated with side effects. Dissatisfaction with that vaccine led to the development of an 'acellular pertussis vaccine' made from components of the bacteria combined with an adjuvant to boost immune responses.

Following its introduction in the late 1990s, the new vaccine has proved to be very safe and has been effective in controlling the potentially fatal disease of whooping cough in children. However, protective immunity conferred with the vaccine falls quite quickly, necessitating frequent booster vaccinations. This fall off in the immunity may be contributing to the number of whooping cough cases which are increasing with quite dramatic increases reported in certain countries, including the US, Australia and the Netherlands.

Professor Kingston Mills's research team at the School of Biochemistry and Immunology in the Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute has discovered important mechanistic differences in the type of immune responses induced with the new 'acellular' and old 'whole cell' vaccine. The whole cell vaccine, although much more likely to cause adverse reactions in recipients, was capable of inducing strong cellular immune responses mediated by white blood cells called T cells, in particular a type of T cell called Th1 cells. In contrast, the new acellular vaccine, although safer, was less effective in inducing cellular immunity, but instead induced immunity mediated by antibodies and another type of T cell called a Th17 cell.

Most vaccines include a component called an adjuvant to boost immune responses to the bacterial or viral antigens in the vaccine and the acellular pertussis vaccine uses an aluminium salt, called alum. However, Dr Padraig Ross, Dr Sarah Higgins and Ms Aideen Allen in Professor Mills' laboratory, working in collaboration with Dr Rachel McLoughlin and Dr Ed Lavelle, have shown that the vaccine could be improved further through the use of a different adjuvant.

The current vaccine does not enhance the induction of Th1 cells, required for conferring optimum protective immunity against the bacteria. They showed that by switching the adjuvant from alum to an adjuvant based on bacterial DNA, they could induce the crucial Th1 cells and thereby enhance the efficacy of the vaccine against Bordetella pertussis infection in a murine model. The new vaccine has the potential to protect a higher proportion of immunised children using a lower number of doses.

Commenting on the significance of the findings, Professor Mills said: "Although it will not be an easy task to implement, our findings should pave the way for an improved vaccine against whooping cough in children."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Trinity College Dublin. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Pαdraig J. Ross, Caroline E. Sutton, Sarah Higgins, Aideen C. Allen, Kevin Walsh, Alicja Misiak, Ed C. Lavelle, Rachel M. McLoughlin, Kingston H. G. Mills. Relative Contribution of Th1 and Th17 Cells in Adaptive Immunity to Bordetella pertussis: Towards the Rational Design of an Improved Acellular Pertussis Vaccine. PLoS Pathogens, 2013; 9 (4): e1003264 DOI: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1003264

Cite This Page:

Trinity College Dublin. "New discovery may lead the way to improved whooping cough vaccine." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 May 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130510124457.htm>.
Trinity College Dublin. (2013, May 10). New discovery may lead the way to improved whooping cough vaccine. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130510124457.htm
Trinity College Dublin. "New discovery may lead the way to improved whooping cough vaccine." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130510124457.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

AP (July 22, 2014) — Two federal appeals courts issued conflicting rulings Tuesday on the legality of the federally-run healthcare exchange that operates in 36 states. (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Newsy (July 22, 2014) — The new sci-fi thriller "Lucy" is making people question whether we really use all our brainpower. But, as scientists have insisted for years, we do. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Newsy (July 22, 2014) — Boston scientists have discovered a new way to create fully functioning human platelets using a bioreactor and human stem cells. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) — New research shows Gilead Science's drug Sovaldi helps in curing hepatitis C in those who suffer from HIV. In a medical study, the combination of Gilead's Hep C drug with anti-viral drug Ribavirin cured 76% of HIV-positive patients suffering from the most common hepatitis C strain. Hepatitis C and related complications have been a top cause of death in HIV-positive patients. Typical medication used to treat the disease, including interferon proteins, tended to react badly with HIV drugs. However, Sovaldi's %1,000-a-pill price tag could limit the number of patients able to access the treatment. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from New York. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins