Immunization of Women with Diphtheria and Tetanus Toxoids Combined with Acellular Pertussis (Tdap) During the Mid Third Trimester of Pregnancy: An Evaluation of the Potential for Immunological Protection for the Neonate

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Immunization of Women with Diphtheria and Tetanus Toxoids Combined with Acellular Pertussis (Tdap) During the Mid Third Trimester of Pregnancy: An Evaluation of the Potential for Immunological Protection for the Neonate

Principal Investigator: Dr. Scott Halperin (Global PI), Dr. Deborah Money (Local PI).

Primary Contact: Nancy Lipsky, Research Manager, nlipsky@cw.bc.ca, 604-875-2424 Ext. 4877

About the study: This study involves vaccinating pregnant women with the pertussis (also known as “whooping cough”) vaccine.  Pertussis is a highly transmissible bacterial respiratory infection caused by the bacteria Bordetella pertussis, the classical symptom of which is a serious cough that can last many weeks. The purpose of this study is to see if the vaccine antibodies (protection) are transferred from mother to baby through the placenta and breast milk in high enough levels to provide protection to the newborn baby if the mother receives the pertussis vaccine during the mid third trimester of pregnancy.  We are also looking to see if vaccinating the mother will affect the baby’s protection levels once the baby starts receiving his/her routine infant vaccine.

Why is this research important?  In Canada, there are 1–3 deaths each year from whooping cough; all have been in infants too young to have begun their immunization series.  We are investigating maternal vaccination during the third trimester of pregnancy in an effort to better understand how we can protect young infants from pertussis and prevent related infant harm and deaths.

Study Status: Data analysis

Co-Investigators: Beth Halperin, Victoria Allen, Joanne Langley, Shelly McNeil, Bruce Tapiero, Marc Boucher, Nicole LeSaux, Andree Gruslin, Dat Tran, Mark Yudin, Otto Vanderkooi, Doug Wilson, Wendy Vaudry, Sue Chandra, Simon Dobson, Deborah Money.