New pertussis strain responsible for Australian epidemic: experts

They say the new strain appears to fall outside of the protective range of the current narrow-spectrum vaccine.

“The prolonged whooping cough epidemic in Australia that began during 2008 has been predominantly caused by the new genotype of B. pertussis,” said researcher Associate Professor Ruiting Lan from the UNSW School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences.

“The genotype was responsible for 31% of cases in the 10 years before the epidemic, and that’s now jumped to 84% – a nearly three-fold increase,