More Evidence Shows Whooping Cough Evolving In Response To Its Vaccine

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Whooping cough is evolving in response to its vaccine. Want proof? In a new study, researchers found 30 percent of whooping cough bacteria in Australia have evolved.

We've reported on the evolution of whooping cough before. Researchers have found evolved pertussis, as whooping cough is scientifically known, in Finland, France, Italy, Japan and the U.S. As we previously reported, the evolved bacteria don't seem to be more dangerous than their predecessors. Nevertheless, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are keeping an eye on whooping cough's evolution. It could help explain another recent pertussis phenomenon: The newest pertussis vaccines seem to wear off much faster than older ones, leaving kids vulnerable at age 8 or 10 unless they get booster shots.

In Australia, researchers from several universities and hospitals examined samples of pertussis dating back to 1997. What they saw happening there mirrored what's happened in the U.S.

In every country where scientists have found evolved pertussis, the bacteria don't make a protein called pertactin. Pertactin is thought to help un-evolved pertussis bacteria stick to the cells lining people's respiratory tracts. Scientists still have a lot to learn about pertactin, however. "There's still some speculation about that, how it functions in that role," CDC scientist Lucia Pawloski toldPopular Science in December.

 

Written By: Francie Diep
continue to source article at popsci.com

2 COMMENTS

  1. In every country where scientists have found evolved pertussis, the bacteria don’t make a protein called pertactin. Pertactin is thought to help un-evolved pertussis bacteria stick to the cells lining people’s respiratory tracts.

    Doesn’t seem like a beneficial thing to disable production of pertactin. Nature probably has it’s reasons though.

    • In reply to #1 by Sjoerd Westenborg:

      Doesn’t seem like a beneficial thing to disable production of pertactin. Nature probably has it’s reasons though.

      Nature has no reasoning powers, nor does Whooping Cough respond to it’s vaccine. I really do wish people would refrain from making it sound like these things have a choice.

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