Young ‘Superheroes’ needed for world-first clinical trial

Bradford clinicians are on the lookout for young ‘superheroes’ to take part in a world-first clinical research trial.

The ground-breaking study is getting underway at Bradford’s newly-launched Patient Recruitment Centre (PCR), based at Bradford Royal Infirmary, part of Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

The PRC was set up in conjunction with the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) a year ago to make it easier for the people of Bradford and district to take part in clinical research trials, and is one of only five centres across the UK.

This latest trial will be evaluating a new vaccine for the prevention of pertussis – more commonly known as whooping cough, a childhood disease which affects the lungs and breathing tubes.

The study is being run in the UK and Australia, and Bradford is one of just 12 centres across the UK with around 600 children being recruited countrywide. The Bradford PRC’s target is to recruit between 40 and 50 children in the city and surrounding area.

Leading the Bradford research team is Consultant Paediatrician, Anil Shenoy.

Dr Shenoy said: “This is a very exciting and important trial for the Trust and for Bradford, and we are proud to be taking part in what is a world first clinical trial.

“We are looking to recruit children aged from six to 16, who will be our young ‘superheroes.’ We’re calling them superheroes as they will be ‘Standing up to pertussis.’ We are now in the process of contacting local schools and local GPs as well using the Born in Bradford (BiB) registry.

“Usually children receive their last whooping cough booster at the age of three, and this is given by injection. This trial will see children having a further booster dose and this will be intranasal – in other words, given via the nose.

“Participants will then be checked over a six month period for their antibody response. In total they’ll make four visits while on the trial.”

Dr Shenoy added that because the vaccine was administered via a nasal spray, he hoped that there would be plenty of willing volunteers for the study.

“Giving the vaccine via a spray up the nose is much less invasive for children. It takes seconds to administer and is a good way of giving a vaccine to children, particularly in children who might be nervous of needles.

“We know that whooping cough is still with us; it happens in pockets and can spread very easily as it is very contagious. It is a very debilitating disease, often referred to as the 100 day cough because of the length of time it can last.

“This trial will ultimately protect our children against whooping cough and improve patient care for the future.”

Would you like to get your children involved? If so, please see the website for more details: You can also get in touch with the Children’s research team for more information on 01274 382466