Nav: Home

Understanding the resurgence of whooping cough in the US

March 28, 2018

Scientists might have an explanation for the severe and surprising resurgence of whooping cough in the U.S. Whooping cough (also called pertussis) is caused by the bacterial pathogen Bordetella pertussis and results in roughly 195,000 infant deaths worldwide every year, mostly in the developing world. However, since the mid-1970s, there has been an alarming uptick in fatalities in industrialized nations despite ongoing vaccination efforts since the 1940s. Seeking a better understanding of this observation, Matthieu Domenech de Cellès and colleagues formulated mathematical models using age-specific pertussis incidence records from Massachusetts where an active surveillance program ensured a wealth of detailed information over a 16-year period (from 1990 to 2005). The researchers evaluated three possible scenarios: primary vaccine failure (the immunization entirely fails to protect a subset of individuals), failure in duration (the vaccine works well at first, but protection wanes over time), and failure in degree (the protection is not perfect, potentially because the bacteria evolves). Based on the incidence data from Massachusetts -- where adolescents and adults accounted for the majority of cases -- failure in duration (or vaccine waning) offered the best explanation for whooping cough resurgence in this region of the U.S. The authors conclude that incomplete vaccine coverage of adults in the past combined with waning vaccine protection, and not a vaccine incapable of inducing immunity, set the stage for disease resurgence. Further analysis revealed that school-aged children represent a particularly important transmission hub and may be a good focus for future vaccination efforts.
-end-


American Association for the Advancement of Science

Related Whooping Cough Articles:

More day cares near by, more germs? Maybe not, according to Drexel whooping cough study
A team of Drexel University researchers looking into how a higher density of day care facilities may affect the prevalence of illness in a neighborhood and found that it doesn't really have much of an effect.
Does cough syrup really work? (video)
What do you do when you have a bad cough?
CHEST experts issue advice for investigating occupational and environmental causes of chronic cough
Although the understanding of cough triggered by occupational and environmental causes has improved, experts say there is still a gap between current guidelines and clinical practice.
Multi-center trial to test new treatment for chronic cough
The National Institute for Health Research has announced that a clinical trial to test a promising new treatment for chronic cough could lead to the first new cough drug in 50 years.
Stronger measures needed to deter use of cough and cold medicine in young children
About 18 percent of children still received cough and cold medications despite label warnings advising against their use in children under age 6, a new study has found.
Whooping cranes' predatory behavior key for adaptation, survival
The whooping crane, with its snowy white plumage and trumpeting call, is one of the most beloved American birds, and one of the most endangered.
Whooping cough booster vouchers don't boost immunization rates of caregivers
A team of researchers evaluated the feasibility and impact of different interventions aimed at increasing the number of Tdap vaccinated caregivers.
Doctors issue warning over cough medicines that contain codeine
An article in the online journal BMJ Case Reports describes the first published case of confusional state in a healthy 14-year-old girl attributed to excessive consumption of over-the-counter cough medicine that contained codeine.
Texas engineers develop potential treatment for whooping cough
Texas Engineers are making progress on a potential Whooping Cough treatment for vulnerable infants.
Unexplained chronic cough treatment subject of updated evidence-based guideline
Persistent, unexplained cough is a significant health issue that occurs in up to 5-10 percent of patients seeking medical assistance for chronic cough.

Related Whooping Cough Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Setbacks
Failure can feel lonely and final. But can we learn from failure, even reframe it, to feel more like a temporary setback? This hour, TED speakers on changing a crushing defeat into a stepping stone. Guests include entrepreneur Leticia Gasca, psychology professor Alison Ledgerwood, astronomer Phil Plait, former professional athlete Charly Haversat, and UPS training manager Jon Bowers.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#524 The Human Network
What does a network of humans look like and how does it work? How does information spread? How do decisions and opinions spread? What gets distorted as it moves through the network and why? This week we dig into the ins and outs of human networks with Matthew Jackson, Professor of Economics at Stanford University and author of the book "The Human Network: How Your Social Position Determines Your Power, Beliefs, and Behaviours".