Seroprevalence studies of pertussis: what have we learned from different immunized populations.

Bordetella pertussis is a pathogen causing whooping cough (pertussis) in humans. Although vaccination against the disease is effective, the bacterium is still circulating among population and can even cause death. Especially young infants, who lack protection, are vulnerable. The laboratory diagnostic methods to detect B. pertussis are culture, PCR and ELISA serology. Reported cases of the disease vary among countries but usually the incidence rates are low, <1 to 10 / 100,000. However, pertussis often goes unrecognized among patients as it presents itself like the common cold, especially in adults and elders who are often the source of the infection. This makes pertussis difficult to monitor and control. Serological surveillance is an easy manner to estimate the real burden of the disease among population. Furthermore, to have reliable results, anti-PT IgG antibodies should be measured, as PT is the only specific antigen to B. pertussis. This review aims to evaluate available pertussis seroprevalence studies throughout the world, and to compare the findings from countries with different vaccination histories and strategies. Estimation of the real burden of pertussis is compared to reported numbers. In addition, future aspects in seroprevalence studies are considered.

Authors:Barkoff AM1, Gröndahl-Yli-Hannuksela K1, He Q2.
Journal:Pathog Dis. 2015