Pertussis: still a cause of death, seven decades into vaccination
Curr Opin Pediatr
Purpose of review We review the resurgence of pertussis, including recent trends in epidemiology and reasons for the resurgence, as well as updated vaccination schedules and recommendations. Recent findings There has been a resurgence of pertussis in recent decades, in the United States and worldwide. This is a preventable cause of hospitalizations and deaths, especially among the infant population. Possible reasons for the resurgence include increased awareness via surveillance and reporting, diagnostic testing improvements, infant susceptibility coupled with exposure to infected caregivers, waning immunity despite complete vaccination, inferior long-term efficacy of acellular vaccines compared with whole-cell vaccines, circulating mutant strains of the bacterium, and parents refusing vaccination of their children. Progressively updated vaccine recommendations should be adhered to, as this is currently the only available tool to stem the public health challenge. Summary The resurgence of pertussis is a multifaceted problem, but the implementation of immunization for all age groups is of utmost importance.
School of Medicine