European Journal of Pediatrics

, Volume 155, Issue 7, pp 551–553 | Cite as

Bordetella pertussis infections and sudden unexpected deaths in children

  • U. Heininger
  • K. Stehr
  • G. Schmidt-Schläpfer
  • R. Penning
  • R. Vock
  • W. Kleemann
  • J. D. Cherry
Infectious Diseases


From December 1990 to November 1993 nasopharyngeal specimens were obtained for culture from 50 children (mean 4.9±3.3 months of age) who had died suddenly.Bordetella pertussis was not isolated. Subsequently, nasopharyngeal specimens for polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis were obtained from another 51 victims of sudden death (mean 5.4±4.4 months of age); nine (18%) wereB. pertussis positive.

Key words

Bordetella pertussis Sudden infant death Polymerase chain reaction 



polymerase chain reaction


sudden infant death syndrome


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Cherry JD (1984) The epidemiology of pertussis and pertussis immunization in the United Kingdom and the United States: a comparative study. Curr Prob Pediatr 14:1–78Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Heininger U, Stehr K, Cherry JD (1992) Serious pertussis overlooked in infants. Eur J Pediatr 151:342–343Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Heininger U, Cherry JD, Eckhardt T, Lorenz C, Christenson P, Stehr K (1993) Clinical and laboratory diagnosis of pertussis in the regions of a large vaccine efficacy trial in Germany. Pediatr Infect Dis J 12:504–509Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Houard S, Hackel C, Herzog A, Bollen A (1989) Specific identification ofBordetella pertussis by the polymerase chain reaction. Res Microbiol 140: 477–484Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Lindgren C, Milerad J, Lagercrantz H (1994) Impact on sudden infant death by prevalence ofB. pertussis in the Swedish and Norwegian communities (abstract). Pediatr Res 35:118AGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Nicoll A, Gardner A (1988) Whooping cough and unrecognised postperinatal mortality. Arch Dis Child 63:41–47Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Schläpfer G, Senn HP, Berger R, Just M (1993) Use of the polymerase chain reaction to detectBordetella pertussis in patients with mild or atypical symptoms of infection. Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis 12:459–463Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Schläpfer G, Cherry JD, Heininger U, Überall M, Schmitt-Grohé S, Laussucq S, Just M, Stehr K (1995) Polymerase chain reaction identificationBordetella pertussis infections in vaccinees and family members in a pertussis vaccine efficacy trial in Germany. Pediatr Infect Dis J 14:209–214Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Southall DP, Thomas MG, Lambert HP (1988) Severe hypoxaemia in pertussis. Arch Dis Child 63:598–605Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Taranger J, Trollfors B, Lind L, Zackrisson G, Beling-Holmquist K (1994) Environmental contamination leading to false-positive polymerase chain reaction for pertussis (letter) Pediatr Infect Dis J 13:936–937Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • U. Heininger
    • 1
  • K. Stehr
    • 1
  • G. Schmidt-Schläpfer
    • 2
  • R. Penning
    • 3
  • R. Vock
    • 4
  • W. Kleemann
    • 5
  • J. D. Cherry
    • 6
  1. 1.Universitätsklinik für Kinder und JugendlicheErlangenGermany
  2. 2.Medlzinische MikrobiologieUniversitätskinderklinik BaselSwitzerland
  3. 3.Institut für Rechtsmedizin der Ludwig-Maximilians UniversitätMünchenGermany
  4. 4.Institut für Rechtsmedizin der Universität WürzburgGermany
  5. 5.Institut für Rechtsmedizin der Medizinischen Hochschule HannoverGermany
  6. 6.Department of PediatricsUniversity of California, Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA

Personalised recommendations