European Journal of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases

, Volume 15, Issue 3, pp 189-193

First online:

Update on epidemiology, diagnosis, and treatment of pertussis

  • J. E. HoppeAffiliated withSection of Bacteriology, University Children's Hospital

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AlthoughBordetella pertussis was identified as the causative organism of whooping cough in 1906 (1), numerous questions regarding epidemiology, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of this disease remain unanswered. Widespread immunization has drastically reduced the prevalence of pertussis in many countries, but epidemics still occur, even in well-immunized communities (2, 3), which explains the continued interest in this old disease.

This editorial will focus on some recent developments in the areas of epidemiology, diagnosis, and treatment of pertussis; it is not, however, intended as a comprehensive review of these fields.