Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 23119090
PLoS ONE 2012;7(10):e48684
BACKGROUND: Pertussis, also known as whooping cough, is a vaccine-preventable respiratory disease caused by Bordetella pertussis infection, against which Senegalese children are immunized with the diphtheria-tetanus-whole cell pertussis vaccine (DTwP). Seroepidemiology of pertussis has been widely described in industrialized countries, but rare are the studies referring to it in developing countries.
METHODS: We conducted a longitudinal survey in Northern Senegal to investigate the epidemiology of B. pertussis by evaluating the IgG antibody (Ab) response against pertussis toxin (PT). A cohort of 410 children aged 1 to 9 from five villages in the Middle Senegal River Valley were followed-up for 18 months. During that period, five visits were made to assess the immunological status of the children.
PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: PT-specific IgG responses were significantly different according to age. Until the age of 3, there was a decrease in the Ab response, which then increased in the older groups. Assessment of IgG antibodies to PT (IgG-PT) suggested evidence of recent exposures to the pathogen. Surprisingly, in one of the five villages the average Ab response to PT was very low at all ages during the first 6 months of the study. At the third visit, IgG-PT concentrations peaked to very high levels, to slightly decline at the end of the survey. This indicates an outbreak of B. pertussis, whereas in the other villages a pertussis endemic profile could be observed.
CONCLUSIONS: Pertussis is endemic in Northern Senegal despite the introduction of vaccination. The circulation of the bacteria seems to differ between geographic locations and over time. A more complete understanding of the epidemiology of pertussis and its environmental determinants could provide information to adapt vaccination programs.