The intensive use of pertussis vaccines has dramatically reduced the incidence of whooping cough during the 20th century. However, recent outbreaks in countries with high vaccination coverage illustrate the shortcomings of current vaccination regimens, and immunity induced by the most recent, acellular vaccines wanes much faster than anticipated. As an alternative, live attenuated vaccine candidates have recently been developed in order to mimic natural infection, which induces long-lasting immunity. One of them has successfully completed a Phase I trial in humans and is now undergoing further product and clinical developments. This article describes the development of such vaccines, discusses their advantages over existing vaccines and their interesting bystander properties as powerful anti-inflammatory agents, which widens their potential use far beyond that for protection against whooping cough.
Keywords: Pertussis; inflammation; live attenuated; multivalent vaccine; nasal vaccine.