Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 19445367
Bull. Acad. Natl. Med. 2008 Oct;192(7):1437-49; discussion 1449-52
Neither natural nor vaccine-induced immunity to pertussis lasts for life. Before intensive vaccination of toddlers, pertussis was essentially a pediatric disease. Mortality and morbidity have fallen drastically in parts of the world where toddlers have been systematically protected with efficacious whole-cell vaccines. The infection is now more common in adults with waning specific immunity, who can go on to infect newborns too young to be vaccinated, with potentially dramatic consequences. For these reasons, the vaccine strategy was recently modified in several countries, with the introduction of vaccine boosters for children, adolescents and young adults, as well as for healthcare workers in contact with newborns. In France, vaccine boosters were introduced for adolescents in 1998 and for adults in contact with newborns in 2004, leading to a decrease in morbidity in adolescents and very young adults. It is important to inform the medical community, and the families with neonates, of these changes in vaccine strategy. Efficient surveillance and notification systems are needed in all countries. Surveillance must include the use of standardized diagnostic tests and reagents. Bacterial isolates should be thoroughly characterized at the genomic, transcriptomic and proteomic levels.