We are looking for healthy children and teenagers to take part in a study that will help us learn if a nasal spray vaccine against whooping cough can provide superior protection and reduce the spread to others.
What is whooping cough?
Whooping cough develops due to a bacteria called bordetella pertussis, which causes infection in the upper airway and the lungs. The bacteria produces toxins that cause a severe and long-lasting cough. For young babies who aren’t yet old enough to be vaccinated, a whooping cough infection can be life-threatening.
While whooping cough is not as dangerous in older children, teenagers and adults, research has found that these age groups play a major role in transmitting the bacteria throughout the community.
What are researchers investigating?
Current whooping cough vaccines work by producing antibodies in the blood, and while this has proven to be very effective in protecting people from getting seriously unwell, unfortunately they don't have the ability to stop the infection from occurring, or prevent the illness passing to others.
It is hoped that using a nasal spray whooping cough vaccine will provide added protection by not only producing antibodies in the blood, but also in the nose and throat.
In the SUPER Study, researchers aim to learn if producing these protective antibodies in the nose and throat can stop the bacteria from causing an infection in the first place and prevent the germ from spreading between people, especially to young babies.
What does the study involve?
The study will involve attending our research clinic at Perth Children’s Hospital for four appointments, including:
Receiving a dose of the nasal spray whooping cough vaccine and/or a dose of a whooping cough vaccine currently used in Australia or a placebo vaccine - this will be an injection in the arm. This will be ‘blinded’, meaning participants will be randomly assigned to a study group and you will not know which group you are in.
Providing blood and nasal swab samples at each visit
General health check-ups by the study doctor and nurses
Participation in the SUPER Study is voluntary and will be for around six months. Reasonable travel and parking costs will be reimbursed.
What about safety?
The nasal spray vaccine used in this study has been well-tolerated by adults in previous studies. There have been no safety concerns identified.
Who can participate?
This is a global study, involving 600 schoolaged children and teenagers at 20 locations across the United Kingdom and Australia.
Our first round of recruitment will involve young people aged 11 - 17 years, followed by children aged six years upwards in the near future.
Please contact the study staff if you would like more information or to get involved.
Recruitment is also underway at Women’s and Children’s Hospital in Adelaide, Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick, The Children’s Hospital at Westmead and Murdoch Children’s Research Institute in Melbourne. Interested participants can check their eligibility at these locations online here.
This study has been approved by the Adelaide Women’s and Children’s Hospital Ethics Committee on behalf of all study sites in Australia.
Wesfarmers Centre of Vaccines & Infectious Diseases