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Nasal whooping cough vaccine trial underway at Vanderbilt

Jan. 28, 2019, 3:39 PM


Vanderbilt vaccine researchers are enrolling adult volunteers in a National Institutes of Health (NIH)-sponsored Phase II clinical trial that will study a next generation pertussis vaccine that may protect people from whooping cough.

The vaccine, BPZE1, is a live, attenuated form of the pertussis bacterium. BPZE1 is given as a mist into the nose, rather than a shot in the arm. ILiAD Biotechnologies, LLC (ILiAD) is providing the vaccine.

Buddy Creech, MD, MPH

Buddy Creech, MD, MPH, director of the Vanderbilt Vaccine Research Program, said administering the vaccine into the nose, instead of giving a traditional shot, may more closely mimic what is seen in a natural infection.

“It only makes sense that, when we can, we try to deliver vaccines to the place in the body where we first see the germ. For pertussis, that is the nose,” Creech said. “We think the vaccine will not only give an immune response in the bloodstream, like we normally see with a shot, but also a response in the nose.”

“What we are learning is that the vaccine now in use is good at preventing disease, but other vaccines may have greater duration of protection and be better in preventing the germ from being carried in the nose altogether or being transmitted from one person to another,” he said.

The Vanderbilt Vaccine Research Program is inviting healthy volunteers ages 18-49 to participate in the study. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) at the NIH is sponsoring the study through the Vanderbilt Vaccine and Treatment Evaluation Unit (VTEU). For more information go to or email the research team at

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