How much would it take for you to let yourself be intentionally infected with dangerous bacteria? We know some researchers who might pay that much.
A team of scientists at the University of Southampton in southern England are working on a brand new study aimed at understanding B. pertussis, the bacterium that causes whooping cough.
“This study is part of a landmark European project that aims to develop a better vaccine against whooping cough, as we know protection by the current vaccine seems to be much less effective than it was 15 years ago,” said Robert Read, director of the NIHR Southampton Biomedical Research Centre, in a
Fortunately, the study is being conducted as part of a European project called PERISCOPE. That stands for “PERtussIS COrrelates of Protection Europe.” The name is a bit of a mouthful, but the program is an excellent idea.
The European Commission has budgeted 28 million euros for the project, leaving the Southampton researchers plenty of money to draw in their volunteers.
PERISCOPE’s goal is to develop vaccines that will help prevent the 16 million annual cases of whooping cough around the world.
Even more important, the project is trying to save the lives of the 200,000 children who die of B. pertussis infection every year.
Oh, and if this noble purpose doesn’t convince you to sign up for the new study, there’s always this: The researchers are offering up to £3,526 to be a part of the hunt for a new vaccine. With the exchange rate at the time of this writing, that’s a bit more than $4,500.
These researchers are pitting a whopping sum against the whooping cough.
All you have to do to get your hands on that cash is live at the research facility on Southampton General Hospital’s campus for 17 days. During that time, you’ll be infected with B. pertussis, swabbed daily, and asked to sit in a glass chamber called the “cough box.”
During your cough box sessions, researchers will watch you talk, sing, cough, and spit to study how your saliva is moving invisibly through the air. That doesn’t sound too hard.
Unfortunately, this opportunity is a bit limited. To participate, you have to be healthy, between the ages of 18 and 45, and ready to endure an incredibly weird and deeply uncomfortable couple of weeks for human advancement and the almighty dollar.
Sign up by emailing the researchers at UHS.recruitmentCRF@nhs.netUniversity Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust or giving them a call at 023 8120 3853. Learn more about this important study here.