14 January 2014

New Vaccine to Protect Babies from Whooping Cough

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Whooping cough, also known as pertussis, is a bacterial infection that can be fatal. Now, a new nasal vaccination aimed at infants aims to address an unmet medical need against this disease 

In Europe, whooping cough (Pertussis) is in the increase, with more than 20.000 cases reported annually. Often infants fall victim to the disease, where it can be life-threatening. Possible complications include pneumonia, brain damage and collapsed lungs, leading to death in one in 200.

There is a vaccine on the market, but a newborn’s immune system is too immature to respond to it. Therefore scientists at the Institute Pasteur in Lille, France have developed a new vaccine that the babies' immune system can deal with: it is administered intranasally to reproduce the natural conditions of infection as closely as possible. The new substance is currently undergoing clinical trials and has passed the first phase of testing on human adults successfully. The results were published on the last issue of the peer-reviewed journal “Plos One".

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