Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 25312274
Vaccine 2014 Nov;32(49):6597-600
Bordetella pertussis is the etiologic agent of whooping cough and has been the target of vaccination for over fifty years. The latest strategies include the use of acellular pertussis vaccines that induce specific immunity against few virulence factors amongst which pertactin is included in three and five component acellular pertussis vaccines. Recently, it has been reported that B. pertussis clinical isolates loose the production of this adhesin in regions reaching high vaccine coverage with vaccines targeting this virulence factor. We here demonstrate that isolates not producing pertactin are capable of sustaining longer infection as compared to pertactin producing isolates in an in vivo model of acellular pertussis immunization. Loosing pertactin production might thus provide a selective advantage to these isolates in this background, which could account for the upraise in prevalence of these pertactin deficient isolates in the population.