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Pertussis Across the Globe: Recent Epidemiologic Trends From 2000 to 2013

Tan, Tina MD*; Dalby, Tine PhD; Forsyth, Kevin MD; Halperin, Scott A. MD§; Heininger, Ulrich MD; Hozbor, Daniela MD; Plotkin, Stanley MD**; Ulloa-Gutierrez, Rolando MD††; Wirsing von König, Carl Heinz MD‡‡

The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal: September 2015 - Volume 34 - Issue 9 - p e222–e232
doi: 10.1097/INF.0000000000000795
Review Article

Pertussis has reemerged as a problem across the world. To better understand the nature of the resurgence, we reviewed recent epidemiologic data and we report disease trends from across the world. Published epidemiologic data from January 2000 to July 2013 were obtained via PubMed searches and open-access websites. Data on vaccine coverage and reported pertussis cases from 2000 through 2012 from the 6 World Health Organization regions were also reviewed. Findings are confounded not only by the lack of systematic and comparable observations in many areas of the world but also by the cyclic nature of pertussis with peaks occurring every 3–5 years. It appears that pertussis incidence has increased in school-age children in North America and western Europe, where acellular pertussis vaccines are used, but an increase has also occurred in some countries that use whole-cell vaccines. Worldwide, pertussis remains a serious health concern, especially for infants, who bear the greatest disease burden. Factors that may contribute to the resurgence include lack of booster immunizations, low vaccine coverage, improved diagnostic methods, and genetic changes in the organism. To better understand the epidemiology of pertussis and optimize disease control, it is important to improve surveillance worldwide, irrespective of pertussis vaccine types and schedules used in each country.

*Department of Pediatrics, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL; Department of Immunology, Microbiology, and Molecular Biology, Statens Serum Institut, Copenhagen, Denmark; Department of Pediatrics, Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia; §Department of Pediatrics, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada; Department of Pediatrics, University Children’s Hospital (UKBB), University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland; Department of Pediatrics, Laboratorio VacSal, Instituto de Biotecnología y Biología Molecular (IBBM), Facultad de Ciencias Exactas, Universidad Nacional de La Plata, CCT-CONICET La Plata, Argentina; **Department of Pediatrics, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA; ††Department of Pediatrics, Hospital Nacional de Niños de Costa Rica “Dr. Carlos Sáenz Herrera,” San José, Costa Rica; and ‡‡Labor:Medizin Krefeld MVZ, Krefeld, Germany.

Accepted for publication June 8, 2015.

T.T. has received grants from Merck & Co. and Sanofi Pasteur, personal fees from GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals and Sanofi Pasteur, and fees for participating in data safety monitoring boards from Pfizer Wyeth and Biota. S.A.H. has received grants, speaker honoraria, and personal fees for conducting clinical trials and participating in advisory boards from Sanofi Pasteur Inc, GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals, Merck & Co., Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics, and Pfizer Canada Inc. R.U.G. has received honorary fees for attending pertussis-related conferences and advisory boards from Sanofi Pasteur and GlaxoSmithKline. S.P. is a paid consultant to Sanofi Pasteur, Merck & Co, and GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals. C.H.W.v.K. has received honoraria for attending meetings sponsored by Sanofi Pasteur, GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals SA, and Novartis Vaccines. K.F. has received grants from Sanofi Pasteur. T.D. and D.H. have nothing to disclose. U.H. has received personal fees from both Sanofi Pasteur and GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals SA. Medical writing support was funded by Sanofi Pasteur. The Global Pertussis Initiative is supported by Sanofi Pasteur SA and was established in 2001 to evaluate the on-going problem of pertussis worldwide and to recommend appropriate pertussis control strategies. Sanofi Pasteur continues to fund this important initiative to provide a forum for scientific and policy-based discussions. The views and opinions expressed in this publication, which could include use of Sanofi Pasteur products that is inconsistent with current labeling or licensed indication, are solely those of the authors and do not reflect the position of Sanofi Pasteur SA.

Address for correspondence: Tina Tan, MD, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital, 225 E. Chicago Ave, Box 20, Chicago, IL 60611. E-mail:

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