In several countries, particularly those using acellular pertussis (aP) vaccines, there has been a resurgence of this pertussis in recent years. For the development of improved vaccines it is clear that a greater understanding of immune correlates of protection is required. The pertussis correlates of protection Europe project (PERISCOPE, www.periscope-project.eu) has been established to bring together many leading research groups to perform pre-clinical and clinical studies and undertake a detailed examination of immune responses to infection, disease or vaccination. The clinical studies include (i) the development of a human challenge colonisation model, (ii) a study to determine immune responses to a booster dose of aP vaccine in different age groups, (iii) a study to compare infant immune responses to primary vaccination with aP or whole cell (wP) vaccine, (iv) a study of the effect of immunization during pregnancy on the infant response to primary vaccination with aP or wP.
PERISCOPE is funded by the Innovative Medicines Initiative, a joint undertaking of the European Commission and the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations. Additionally, PERISCOPE is the first IMI project to receive funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.