Acellular Animal Vaccine for Bordetella Bronchiseptica-mediated Respiratory Infections

Bordetella bronchiseptica causes respiratory diseases in various animals, such as swine, dogs, cats, sheep, guinea pigs, rabbits, mice and rats, and the bacterium is also capable of infecting immuno-compromised humans, (e.g., AIDS and cystic fibrosis patients). A novel acellular animal vaccine for bordetella created by researchers at Wake Forest School of Medicine can efficiently elicit protective immune responses without the risk of subsequent infection by the vaccine strain and disease, as is the case with the present commercially available vaccines for Bordetella respiratory infections.

Invention Summary

Researchers at Wake Forest School of Medicine have developed an acellular B. bronchiseptica vaccine comprised of the immunogenic BcfA (Bordetella colonization factor A) protein, which with remarkable efficacy establishes protective immunity in vivo against Bordetella infections. Proof of concept has been established in an in vivo mouse model, and both passive and active immunization have been shown to induce complete protection from bordetellosis, greatly decreased bacterial burden, high antibody titers and markedly reduced pulmonary injury.


  • Vaccine does not contain whole-cell bacteria, which eliminates the risk of infection by vaccine strain in the host and subsequent disease or zoonosis.
  • Vaccine is cost-effectively produced by using recombinant DNA techniques.
  • Vaccine is highly potent and targets multiple animal species of B. bronchiseptica strains
  • BcfA protein can be incorporated into a multivalent vaccine, which gives prospects of obtaining greater efficacy and broader protection.

Application Fields

  • Vaccines for animal and human respiratory disease
  • Use of serum to prophylactically treat human and animal infections

Stage of Development

  • Identified and purified the protein
  • Shown that it is critical for colonization of the mouse trachea
  • Demonstrated that BcfA anti-serum can provide protection in animals and are in the process to show that this anti-sera can provide protection against B. pertussis infections
  • Currently testing whether purified BcfA protein provides protection against B. bronchiseptica and B. pertussis in mouse models
  • It is also planned to test the efficacy of the anti-sera and the purified protein to protect against B. pertussis in non-human primates.


  • Rajendar K. Deora, PhD
  • Meenu Mishra, PhD
  • Neelima Sukumar, PhD


Sukumar N. et al. 2009, Infection and Immunity, 77(2), 885-895
Sukumar et al. 2007, J. Bacteriol.  189:3695-3704

Licensing Contact

Stephen J. Susalka, PhD, CLP


Back to Top