Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization -
International Vaccine Centre

Pertussis – development of a neonatal pertussis vaccine

Project Leaders: Volker Gerdts, Sylvia van den Hurk, Andrew Potter

Pertussis, also called whooping cough, is a respiratory disease of young children. The disease is globally responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths every year, mainly in infants and very young children. Although vaccines are available, large epidemics occurred in 2012 and 2013 around the world highlighting the need for more effective vaccine. Over the last six years, researchers at VIDO-InterVac have developed a novel vaccine that is comprised of recombinant pertussis antigens and a proprietary combination adjuvant. This vaccine has proven highly effective in preclinical animal studies, resulting in much improved immune response already after a single immunization in neonates. Current research is focused on further optimizing the vaccine for use in infants, in combination with other vaccines and in combining this approach with maternal immunization. We are seeking commercial partners for this technology.


  • Further optimize the adjuvant platform for use in human infants
  • Evaluating the vaccine candidate with other neonatal vaccines
  • Seeking a commercial partner to taking this technology into clinical development