Pertussis or whooping cough was once considered a disease of the past but it is now one of the least controlled vaccine preventable diseases. Pertussis is primarily caused by the Gram negative pathogen, Bordetella pertussis, but several other Bordetellae cause similar diseases in humans as well as animals. The reemergence of pertussis correlates with the transition to the acellular pertussis vaccines (DTaP and Tdap) in the early 1990s. Since the 1960's the Bordetella research community has organized international meetings which provide an opportunity for trainees, physicians, scientists, epidemiologists, public health officials, and vaccine manufacturers to assemble and focus on the problems together to move forward. The International Symposium occurs on a three-four year cycle. The International Bordetella Symposium has served to build collaborations, exchange ideas, establish priorities, and facilitate training opportunities for the next generation of scientists. At the 11th symposium there were 50 oral presentations and 110 posters presented by 196 attendees from 20 total countries. The 12th Symposium will be held at Brussels University and will be hosted by Prof. Franoise Mascart and Dr. Camille Locht. The organizing committee made up of 11 internationally known scientists who will directly participate in the planning and administration of meeting. It is expected the 12th symposium will host 300 participants. The meeting agenda includes: Bordetella biology, genomics, evolution, epidemiology, pathogenesis and virulence factors, animal models of disease and transmission, immune responses to infection and immunization, vaccine design, as well as other important topics. While there are numerous meetings that discuss bacterial pathogens, this is the only symposium that exclusively focuses on Bordetella. In order to support development of the next generation of scientists, this R13 application is requesting funds to support travel awards for junior scientists (pre- and post-doctoral) to attend and present innovative research at the 12th International Bordetella Symposium in April 2019.
Pertussis is a disease that needs novel solutions such as new vaccines, therapeutics, and prevention strategies. The 12th International Symposium on Bordetella will provide a forum to exchange data and ideas, as well as foster collaborations within the Bordtella community. The symposium will bring together scientists from academia, medicine, and industry. Junior investigators will have opportunities to present their research and interact with established investigators, which will facilitate development of the future leaders of this critically important field.