Research ArticleEpidemiology

The impact of past vaccination coverage and immunity on pertussis resurgence

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Science Translational Medicine  28 Mar 2018:
Vol. 10, Issue 434, eaaj1748
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aaj1748

The problem of pertussis

The recent rise of pertussis in developed countries has generated controversy as to its cause. Domenech de Cellès et al. modeled pertussis transmission using incidence data from Massachusetts, United States. They found little evidence that the switch to the acellular vaccine contributed to the Massachusetts outbreaks. Instead, waning vaccine-conferred immunity, as opposed to vaccine failure to mount a full or even partial immune response, best explained the local rise in pertussis cases along with a historical gap in vaccination coverage. Simulations suggested that administering existing boosters to children may be an effective strategy to halt pertussis transmission.