Predicting future trends in the burden of pertussis in the 21st century: implications for infant pertussis and the success of maternal immunization.

Support is growing for maternal immunization using acellular pertussis (aP) vaccines to prevent severe pertussis disease and deaths among very young, unvaccinated infants. Vaccine effectiveness of maternal immunization is 91% in preventing laboratory-confirmed pertussis in infants aged <3 months. To date, most mothers were primed in childhood with whole-cell pertussis vaccines. Soon, the generation of aP-primed individuals will become the new mothers-to-be. The shorter duration of protection afforded by aP vaccines, which is more pronounced with repeated aP boosters, may lead to increased pertussis circulation among aP-primed parents. Maternal Tdap immunization in aP-primed mothers-to-be may become less effective. Additional measures to protect young infants may eventually be needed, along with new vaccines that induce higher quality and more durable responses.

Authors:van den Biggelaar AH1, Poolman JT.
Journal:Expert Rev Vaccines. 2015