Whooping cough is a highly contagious respiratory disease which is caused predominantly by the gram-negative bacterium Bordetella pertussis. Further Bordetella species such as B. parapertussis and the recently discovered species B. holmesii are also involved in whooping cough-like diseases. Depending on age, vaccination status and distance to pre-infection with B. pertussis, whooping cough shows a wide range of symptoms. The disease occurs at any age, leaving only short time immunity. During the last 15 years, in industrialized countries the number of reported pertussis cases has been increased markedly. The reason for this observation is still unclear Macrolides such as azithromycin and clarithromycin are regarded as antibiotics of first choice. In Germany, combination vaccines containing acellular pertussis vaccines is the most important strategy of prevention. To ensure the best possible protection against pertussis, booster doses at determined times should be given after primary vaccination in infancy.
Journal:Med Monatsschr Pharm. 2015