Public Health England (PHE)
Public Health England is a UK Agency of the Department of Health that oversees a wide range of Public Health areas including infectious diseases. The Research Department at PHE Porton Down is part of the National Infection Service and provides expertise and emergency response capability for pathogenic microorganisms. There are research groups focusing on a range of infectious diseases, vaccines and immunology. This includes Europe’s largest group for preclinical assessment of tuberculosis vaccines in preclinical models. Other groups make a significant contribution to the understanding of influenza and anthrax vaccines and strategies to overcome antimicrobial resistance. The Pathogen Immunology Group has considerable expertise in functional serology for bacterial pathogens including, Bordetella. pertussis, Neisseria meningitidis, non-typeable Haemophilus and Group B Streptococcus.
Within the PERISCOPE project PHE will be designing and planning the human challenge model for pertussis, including selection of the challenge strain and advice on GMP manufacture and testing of the stock of challenge bacteria. The PHE laboratory at Porton has a GxP immunoassay laboratory with ELISAs for acellular pertussis antigens. PHE will conduct an opsonophagocytosis assay for assessment of functional humoral immunity and contribute to the development of a bactericidal assay. Advice will also be provided for the regulatory affairs and public health activities.
Andrew Gorringe is a Scientific Leader at PHE. He leads the Pathogen Immunology Group which is developing novel methods of characterising antibody and complement interactions with bacterial pathogens. He has performed leading research on the role of fimbriae in B. pertussis vaccines and current research is exploring the role of B. pertussis strain diversity and its effect on vaccine immune responses. He has experience of vaccine development leading the development of a meningococcal vaccine from laboratory proof of concept to phase I clinical trial.