Level 6, Seminar Room
Wallace Wurth Building
Sydney NSW 2052
The Kirby Institute is pleased to present:
Dr James Wood - School of Public Health and Community Medicine, University of New South Wales
Dr Duleepa Jayasundara-School of Public Health and Community Medicine, University of New South Wales.
"Vaccine escape for whooping cough? Evidence, models and significance."
Whooping cough vaccine programs have been highly successful in reducing the burden of severe disease from pertussis but in recent years there have been concerns about a possible resurgence of disease. While factors such as improved diagnostic testing and recognition have played a role, there is increasing evidence that acellular vaccines may be a factor in this resurgence. In this talk we discuss recent evidence around emergence of vaccine escape strains that do not express a key protein found in acellular vaccines and use a simplified transmission model to consider the characteristics required for such strains to co-exist with or replace the existing phenotypes.
We then apply this model to recent epidemiological and pathogen data from NSW classified by expression of the pertactin protein. This data is used to estimate relative fitness and vaccine efficacy associated with the pertactin negative strains consistent with observed changes in the pathogen distribution and epidemic behaviour. We conclude with a discussion of the implications of our study, the limitations of the model and available data and related studies in the pipeline. We gratefully acknowledge funding support from UNSW Goldstar grants and and the PRISM^2 NHMRC CRE.
Dr James Wood is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Public Health and Community Medicine, with a PhD background in mathematical physics and research interests in population biology, mathematical epidemiology and translation to policy. He uses mathematical and statistical techniques to understand infectious disease epidemiology and model the effects of interventions, particular vaccines. His current research foci are modelling improved control of tuberculosis, the measles elimination endgame, evolution of whooping cough bacteria in response to vaccination and retrospective economic evaluation of vaccine programs.
Dr Duleepa Jayasundara is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the School of Public Health and Community Medicine, UNSW. He holds a PhD in Engineering (Bioinformatics) from the University of Melbourne and a BSc (Honours) in Engineering from the University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka. Duleepa currently has research interests in the areas of mathematical modelling of infectious diseases, genetics in epidemiology and combinatorial optimization.