Shift in the Epidemiology of Pertussis Infection
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- Yeh, S.H. & Mink, C.M. Drugs (2006) 66: 731. doi:10.2165/00003495-200666060-00001
Pertussis vaccination of young children has been effective in reducing the overall disease burden due to Bordetella pertussis in many countries. However, the disease has not been eliminated, although humans are the only known host of this pathogen. In fact, in some countries, the number of reported cases has increased dramatically from their nadir and epidemics routinely occur. In areas where >80% of children <2 years of age have been vaccinated, the burden of disease has shifted from elementary school-aged children (who are presumably protected by vaccination) to young infants (<6 months of age) and individuals >11 years of age. With the recent availability of acellular pertussis vaccines for older children to adults, consideration of a change in current vaccination policy is necessary in order to provide better disease control.