Maternal Studies

iMAP3 (immunising Mums Against Pertussis 3)

St George’s, University of London, in collaboration with St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, is conducting a study, immunising Mums Against Pertussis 3 (iMAP3), to follow up children who were involved in the previous study called iMAP2. The iMAP3 study will study the impact of whooping cough vaccination in pregnancy on the children’s responses to the routine pre-school booster vaccinations.

iMAP3 –


The whooping cough vaccine (Boostrix-IPV®- a combined vaccine of whooping cough, diphtheria, tetanus and polio) has been offered to all pregnant women in the UK since 2012 to provide protection for the baby against whooping cough in the first few months of life. We do not yet know the best time to give this vaccine in pregnancy to provide maximum protection for babies. This study is designed to address this question.
In this study we will randomise women (i.e. “toss of a coin”) to receive the vaccine in one of three time periods, all of which are within the UK recommendations, to see if there is a difference in the antibody levels in infants. Antibodies are the proteins in the blood that provide protection against infections. We are also very interested in the immunity in breastmilk following whooping cough vaccination in pregnancy and if you decide to breastfeed you can decide to take part in an additional sub-study investigating breastmilk immunity following vaccination in pregnancy. This is not part of the main study and you do not have to take part in this even if you decide to breastfeed. The results of this study will help inform vaccination strategy in the UK and worldwide.

OptiMUM –


St George’s, University of London, in collaboration with St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, is conducting a study called cytomegalovirus shedding characteristics in pregnant women, better known as the cCHIPS study,to explore the characteristics of cytomegalovirus (CMV) shedding during pregnancy in women who have previously been infected with CMV, known as being ‘seropositive’, in order to understand better the effects it has in pregnancy and identify ways that might be able to help prevent CMV infection in babies in the future.


Group B Streptococcus (GBS or Strep B) is a germ which is often carried by healthy women and usually causes no problems. In rare cases, it can cause serious disease and even death in their babies. It may be possible to prevent GBS disease in babies by giving a vaccine to pregnant women. The idea of vaccinating the mother is so that she can pass on the protection (antibody) during the pregnancy to her baby, just like we already do with the pertussis (whooping cough) vaccination. A vaccine is currently being developed against GBS and to help this progress faster we need to find out how much antibody is actually needed to protect babies from GBS disease.  

MAMA (Maternal Antibody in Milk After vaccination)

Whooping cough (pertussis) is a very infectious respiratory infection which can cause severe illness and death. The whooping cough vaccine is recommended between 16 and 32 weeks and the use of this vaccine has been effective in reducing the number of cases in infants. Breastmilk is a complex and dynamic source of nutrition for infants and contains a number of active elements including antibody (a protein which fights infection).  Whilst most of the protective effects of whooping cough vaccination in pregnancy come from the transfer of protective antibody across the placenta during the pregnancy, there is also an increase in the amount of whooping cough specific antibody in the breastmilk of women who have received the vaccination in pregnancy which may provide additional protection to the infant following birth. In this study we will explore whether the timing at which the whooping cough vaccination was given has an impact on the amount of antibody found in breastmilk. The information from this study will help us to understand more about the relationship between vaccination in pregnancy and breastfeeding and will inform decisions about when the whooping cough vaccine should be offered in pregnancy to optimise the protection for infants.