Pertussis. A reemerging and an underreported infectious disease.

Pertussis or whooping cough is a highly infectious, vaccine preventable disease. The incidence of the disease  has greatly been reduced since the introduction of the diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis vaccine. Pertussis resurgence has been observed in highly vaccinated populations of Western countries since 1990s. Poor vaccine quality, waning vaccine induced immunity, pathogen adaptation, and enhanced surveillance as well as advancements in diagnostic facilities are some of the reasons considered responsible for the increased reporting of pertussis cases. Pertussis may have been ignored and unnoticed due to its atypical manifestations in partially immunized population or people with waning immunity. We review the reports of pertussis resurgence from different countries and attempt to investigate reasons behind the reappearance of the disease. Pertussis is still an under reported disease and the available data from the developing countries is not a true picture of the story.  Therefore, developing countries need to improve their surveillance systems.


Authors:Syed MA1, Bana NF.

Journal:Saudi Med J. 2014