Pertussis in fully vaccinated infants and children. Are new vaccination strategies required?]

To analyse the vaccination status of children diagnosed with pertussis and to compare the clinical manifestations of fully vaccinated with unvaccinated, or incompletely-vaccinated, children.


The clinical histories and vaccination cards of patients under 16years of age seen in the Emergency Room of the University Hospital Vall d’Hebron, Barcelona (Spain), for pertussis confirmed by a microbiological study were reviewed. The study period lasted from January 1, 2009 to December 31, 2011.


Two hundred and twelve cases were studied: 35 in 2009, 28 in 2010 and 149 in 2011. RT-PCR was positive in 210 patients, and 73 had a positive culture. Infants under 6months of age account for 36.8% of all cases. Forty-four patients (21.5%) were not vaccinated. Forty-four (21.5%)children were between 2 and 5months of age and had received 1-2vaccine doses. One hundred and seventeen (57%) children were fully vaccinated; 76.9% (90cases) had received the last dose less than 4years ago. When clinical manifestations of the fully vaccinated patients were compared with those of the non-vaccinated or incompletely-vaccinated children, only cyanosis was found with a higher frequency in the latter group (P<.001). The age-adjusted probability of hospitalisation was significantly associated with non-vaccination (P=.001). The case mortality rate among inpatients was 1.3%.


The number of pertussis cases seen in our centre has risen significantly in the last year. More than half (57%) of the patients were fully vaccinated, and 76.9% had received the last dose in the previous 4years. Other vaccination strategies, such as vaccination of adolescents, adults, and pregnant women, as well as a cocoon strategy are required to protect infants under 6months of age. More effective vaccines need to be developed.

Authors:Moraga-Llop FAMendoza-Palomar NMuntaner-Alonso ACodina-Grau GFàbregas-Martori ACampins-Martí M.

Journal:Enferm Infecc Microbiol Clin. 2013