In comparison with the current whole cell pertussis vaccine, the new generation of acellular pertussis vaccines opens new opportunities to improve the standardization of the product, because well defined and characterized components are used in these new products.However, different compositions, purification and inactivation methods are used by different manufacturers. Consequently the various acellular pertussis vaccines in the world are difficult to compare in a meaningful manner using simple laboratory tests. In addition, the absence of a reliable animal model and serological correlates with protection in children are other complicating factors. For that reason it seems that the consistency in manufacturing based on a clinically validated production process is the best way to ensure the safety and efficacy of routinely produced acellular pertussis vaccines. Laboratory tests to monitor the antigen content, purity, safety and immunogenicity seem to be the best approach to standardize this new generation of pertussis vaccines against homologous standard vaccines with known clinical efficacy and safety and to support the consistency in manufacture.
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