Mutations cut vax efficacy

Researchers analysed 320 bacteria samples from strains of Bordetella pertussis from patients with whooping cough from 2008—12 and found that many strains no longer produce pertactin, a key surface protein.

Pertactin is one of three surface proteins present in the vaccine, along with the pertussis toxin and filamentous haemagglutinin.

During the study period, the proportion of pertactin-free strains rose from 5% of cases in 2008 to 78% in 2012. Pertactin-free strains have also been detected in