A young boy coughing due to pertussis.
|Classification and external resources|
Pertussis, also known as whooping cough or 100-day cough, is a highly contagious bacterial disease. Initially, symptoms are usually similar to those of the common cold with a runny nose, fever, and mild cough. This is then followed by weeks of severe coughing fits. Following a fit of coughing, a high-pitched whoop sound or gasp may occur as the person breathes in. The coughing may last for 10 or more weeks, hence the phrase "100-day cough". A person may cough so hard they vomit, break ribs, or become very tired from the effort. Children less than one year old may have little or no cough and instead have periods where they do not breathe. The period of time between infection and the onset of symptoms is usually seven to ten days. Disease may occur in those who have been vaccinated, but symptoms are typically milder. Pertussis is caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis. It is an airborne disease which spreads easily through the coughs and sneezes of an infected person. People are infectious to others from the start of symptoms until about three weeks into the coughing fits. Those treated with antibiotics are no longer infectious after five days. Diagnosis is by collecting a sample from the back of the nose and throat. This sample can then be tested by either culture or by polymerase chain reaction. Prevention is mainly by vaccination with the pertussis vaccine. Initial immunization is recommended between six and eight weeks of age, with four doses to be given in the first two years of life. The vaccine becomes less effective over time, with additional doses often recommended for older children and adults. Antibiotics may be used to prevent the disease in those who have been exposed and are at risk of severe disease. In those with the disease, antibiotics are useful if started within three weeks of the initial symptoms, but otherwise have little effect in most people. In children less than one year old and among those who are pregnant, they are recommended within six weeks of symptom onset. Antibiotics used include erythromycin, azithromycin, or trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole. Evidence to support the effectiveness of medications for the cough is poor. Many children less than a year of age require hospitalization. An estimated 16 million people worldwide are infected per year. Most cases occur in the developing world, and people of all ages may be affected. In 2013, it resulted in 61,000 deaths – down from 138,000 deaths in 1990. Nearly 2% of infected children less than a year of age die. Outbreaks of the disease were first described in the 16th century. The bacterium that causes the infection was discovered in 1906. The vaccine became available in the 1940s.
- Signs and symptoms 1
- Diagnosis 2
- Vaccine 3.1
- Management 4
- Prognosis 5
- US outbreaks 6.1
- Discovery 7.1
- DPT 7.2
- Controversy 7.3
- References 8
- External links 9
Signs and symptoms
The classic symptoms of pertussis are a paroxysmal cough, inspiratory whoop, and fainting, or vomiting after coughing. The cough from pertussis has been documented to cause subconjunctival hemorrhages, rib fractures, urinary incontinence, hernias, and vertebral artery dissection. Violent coughing can cause the pleura to rupture, leading to a pneumothorax. Vomiting after a coughing spell or an inspiratory whooping sound on coughing, almost doubles the likelihood that the illness is pertussis. The absence of a paroxysmal cough or posttussive emesis, though, makes it almost half as likely.
The incubation period is typically seven to ten days, with a range of four to 21 days and rarely as long as 42 days, after which mild respiratory symptoms, mild coughing, sneezing, or runny nose usually occur. This is known as the catarrhal stage. After one to two weeks, the coughing classically develops into uncontrollable fits, each with five to ten forceful coughs, followed by a high-pitched "whoop" sound in younger children, or a gasping sound in older children, as the person tries to inhale (paroxysmal stage).
Fits can occur on their own or can be triggered by yawning, stretching, laughing, eating, or yelling; they usually occur in groups, with multiple episodes on an hourly basis throughout the day. This stage usually lasts two to eight weeks, or sometimes longer. A gradual transition then occurs to the convalescent stage, which usually lasts one to two weeks. This stage is marked by a decrease in paroxysms of coughing, both in frequency and severity, and a cessation of vomiting. A tendency to produce the "whooping" sound after coughing may remain for a considerable period after the disease itself has cleared up.
Methods used in laboratory diagnosis include culturing of nasopharyngeal swabs on a nutrient medium (Bordet-Gengou medium), polymerase chain reaction (PCR), direct fluorescent antibody (DFA), and serological methods (e.g. complement fixation test). The bacteria can be recovered from the person only during the first three weeks of illness, rendering culturing and DFA useless after this period, although PCR may have some limited usefulness for an additional three weeks.
For most adults and adolescents, who often do not seek medical care until several weeks into their illness, serology may be used to determine whether antibody against pertussis toxin or another component of B. pertussis is present at high levels in the blood of the person. By this stage, they have been contagious for some weeks and may have spread the infection to many people. Because of this, adults, who are not in great danger from pertussis, are increasingly being encouraged to be vaccinated.
A similar, milder disease is caused by B. parapertussis.
The primary method of prevention for pertussis is vaccination. Evidence is insufficient to determine the effectiveness of antibiotics in those who have been exposed, but are without symptoms. Preventative antibiotics, however, are still frequently used in those who have been exposed and are at high risk of severe disease (such as infants).
- Pertussis at Todar's Online Textbook of Bacteriology
- View personal stories of pertussis—ShotbyShot.org, California Immunization Coalition (CIC)
- Whooping cough information page—Symptoms, Causes, Treatment
- —PBS NOVA – Vaccines: Calling The Shots
- Carbonetti NH (June 2007). "Immunomodulation in the pathogenesis of Bordetella pertussis infection and disease". Curr Opin Pharmacol 7 (3): 272–8.
- "Pertussis (Whooping Cough) Signs & Symptoms". May 22, 2014. Retrieved 12 February 2015.
- "Pertussis (Whooping Cough) Fast Facts". cdc.gov. February 13, 2014. Retrieved 12 February 2015.
- "Pertussis (Whooping Cough) Complications". cdc.gov. August 28, 2013. Retrieved 12 February 2015.
- Atkinson, William (May 2012). Pertussis Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases (12 ed.). Public Health Foundation. pp. 215–230.
- "Pertussis (Whooping Cough) Causes & Transmission". cdc.gov. September 4, 2014. Retrieved 12 February 2015.
- "Pertussis (Whooping Cough) Treatment". cdc.gov. August 28, 2013. Retrieved 13 February 2015.
- "Pertussis (Whooping Cough) Specimen Collection". cdc.gov. August 28, 2013. Retrieved 13 February 2015.
- Heininger U (February 2010). "Update on pertussis in children". Expert review of anti-infective therapy 8 (2): 163–73.
- "Revised guidance on the choice of pertussis vaccines: July 2014." (PDF). Wkly Epidemiol Rec 89 (30): 337–40. Jul 2014.
- "Pertussis vaccines: WHO position paper.". Wkly Epidemiol Rec. 85 (40): 385–400. Oct 1, 2010.
- "Pertussis (Whooping Cough) Prevention". cdc.gov. October 10, 2014. Retrieved 13 February 2015.
- Wang, K; Bettiol, S; Thompson, MJ; Roberts, NW; Perera, R; Heneghan, CJ; Harnden, A (22 September 2014). "Symptomatic treatment of the cough in whooping cough.". The Cochrane database of systematic reviews 9: CD003257.
- GBD 2013 Mortality and Causes of Death, Collaborators (17 December 2014). "Global, regional, and national age-sex specific all-cause and cause-specific mortality for 240 causes of death, 1990-2013: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013.". Lancet 385 (9963): 117–71.
- Cornia PB, Hersh AL, Lipsky BA, Newman TB, Gonzales R (August 2010). "Does this coughing adolescent or adult patient have pertussis?". JAMA 304 (8): 890–6.
- Pertussis (whooping cough), New York State Department of Health, Updated: January 2012, retrieved 8 June 2013.
- Pedro-Pons, Agustín (1968). Patología y Clínica Médicas (in Spanish) 6 (3rd ed.). Barcelona: Salvat. p. 615.
- Finger H, von Koenig CHW (1996). , eds.)et al. (Barron S Barron's Medical Microbiology In: Bordetella–Clinical Manifestations. (4th ed.). Univ of Texas Medical Branch.
- Altunaiji S, Kukuruzovic R, Curtis N, Massie J (2007-07-18). "Antibiotics for whooping cough (pertussis)". Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online) (3): CD004404.
- Zhang, L; Prietsch, SO; Axelsson, I; Halperin, SA (Sep 17, 2014). "Acellular vaccines for preventing whooping cough in children.". The Cochrane database of systematic reviews 9: CD001478.
- "Annex 6 whole cell pertussis" (PDF). World Health Organization. Retrieved 5 June 2011.
- "Pertussis: Summary of Vaccine Recommendations". Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved 5 June 2011.
- Mooi; et al. (Feb 2013). "Pertussis resurgence: waning immunity and pathogen adaptation—two sides of the same coin". Epidemiology and Infection (Oxford University Press) 142: 1–10.
- van der Ark; et al. (Sep 2012). "Resurgence of pertussis calls for re-evaluation of pertussis animal models.". Expert Reviews 11 (9): 1121–1137.
- Versteegh FGA, Schellekens JFP, Fleer A, Roord JJ. (2005). "Pertussis: a concise historical review including diagnosis, incidence, clinical manifestations and the role of treatment and vaccination in management". Rev Med Microbiol 16 (3): 79–89.
- Disease Control Priorities Project. (2006). Vaccine-Preventable Diseases (Table 20.1, page 390 ). International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, World Bank. Washington DC (www.worldbank.org).
- Wendelboe AM, Van Rie A, Salmaso S, Englund JA (2005). "Duration of immunity against pertussis after natural infection or vaccination". Pediatr. Infect. Dis. J. 24 (5 Suppl): S58–61.
- "States with higher pertussis rates may be related to nonmedical exemptions from school vaccinations". Healio. 19 January 2014. Retrieved 27 January 2014.
- Yang YT, Debold V (2014). "A longitudinal analysis of the effect of nonmedical exemption law and vaccine uptake on vaccine-targeted disease rates". Am J Public Health 104 (2): 371–7.
- Altunaiji, S; Kukuruzovic, R; Curtis, N; Massie, J (Jul 18, 2007). "Antibiotics for whooping cough (pertussis).". The Cochrane database of systematic reviews (3): CD004404.
- Wang, K; Bettiol, S; Thompson, MJ; Roberts, NW; Perera, R; Heneghan, CJ; Harnden, A (Sep 22, 2014). "Symptomatic treatment of the cough in whooping cough.". The Cochrane database of systematic reviews 9: CD003257.
- "Pertussis: Complications".
- Carbonetti, Nicholas H (March 2010). and cell biology tools"Bordetella pertussis"Pertussis toxin and adenylate cyclase toxin: key virulence factors of . Future Microbiol. 5 (3): 455–469.
- Guinto-Ocampo H, McNeil BK, Aronoff SC (April 27, 2010). "Pertussis: Follow-up". Emedicine (WebMD). Retrieved September 29, 2010.
- Bettiol S, Wang K, Thompson MJ, Roberts NW, Perera R, Heneghan CJ, Harnden A (2012). "Symptomatic treatment of the cough in whooping cough". Cochrane Database Syst Rev 5 (5): CD003257.
- "Pertussis in Other Countries". Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Retrieved 27 May 2013.
- Gregory DS (2006). "Pertussis: a disease affecting all ages". Am Fam Physician 74 (3): 420–6.
- Whooping Cough – Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, Diagnosis – - C-Health
- Lavelle P (January 20, 2009). "A bad year for whooping cough". Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
- Kate Murphy. "Enduring and Painful, Pertussis Leaps Back". The New York Times. 22 February 2005.
- Miriam Falco (October 20, 2010). "Ten infants dead in California whooping cough outbreak".
- "Pertussis (Whooping Cough) Outbreaks".
- Rong-Gong Lin II (September 7, 2010). "Diagnoses lagged in baby deaths".
- Shute, Nancy (30 September 2013). "Vaccine Refusuals Fueled California’s Whooping Cough Epidemic". NPR. Retrieved 6 October 2013.
- Atwell JE, Van Otterloo J, Zipprich J, Winter K, Harriman K, Salmon DA, Halsey NA, Omer SB (2013). "Nonmedical vaccine exemptions and pertussis in California, 2010". Pediatrics 132 (4): 624–30.
- Donna Gordon Blankinship (May 10, 2012). "Whooping cough epidemic declared in Wash. state". Associated Press, Seattle Times. Retrieved 14 May 2012.
- Washington State Department of Health (April 2012). "Whooping cough cases reach epidemic levels in much of Washington" (PDF).
- Karen Herzog (Aug 17, 2012). "Wisconsin has highest rate of whooping cough". the Journal Sentinel. Retrieved 17 August 2012.
- Johnson, T. (December 13, 2012). "Whooping cough epidemic declared in Vermont". Burlington Free Press. Retrieved 14 December 2012.
- Baker JP, Katz SL (2004). "Childhood vaccine development: an overview". Pediatr. Res. 55 (2): 347–56.
- Bannink, Jill. "Finding aid for the Michigan women and the whooping cough vaccine collection[s]" (PDF).
- Sato Y, Kimura M, Fukumi H (1984). "Development of a pertussis component vaccine in Japan". Lancet 1 (8369): 122–6.
- Huber, Peter (July 8, 1991). "Junk Science in the Courtroom". Forbes. p. 68.
- Cherry, James D. (March 2007). "Historical Perspective on Pertussis and Use of Vaccines to Prevent It: 100 years of pertussis (the cough of 100 days)".
- Cherry JD (1990). "'Pertussis vaccine encephalopathy': it is time to recognize it as the myth that it is". JAMA 263 (12): 1679–80.
- Geier D, Geier M (2002). "The true story of pertussis vaccination: a sordid legacy?". Journal of the history of medicine and allied sciences 57 (3): 249–84.
- Gangarosa EJ, Galazka AM, Wolfe CR, Phillips LM, Gangarosa RE, Miller E, Chen RT (1998). "Impact of anti-vaccine movements on pertussis control: the untold story". Lancet 351 (9099): 356–61.
- Rachel K. Sobel (22 May 2011). "At last: Ignorance inoculation". Philadelphia Inquirer.
- Evans G (2006). "Update on vaccine liability in the United States: presentation at the National Vaccine Program Office Workshop on strengthening the supply of routinely recommended vaccines in the United States, 12 February 2002". Clin. Infect. Dis. 42 Suppl 3: S130–7.
- Smith MH (1988). "National Childhood Vaccine Injury Compensation Act". Pediatrics 82 (2): 264–9.
- Pichichero ME, Rennels MB, Edwards KM, Blatter MM, Marshall GS, Bologa M, Wang E, Mills E (June 2005). "Combined tetanus, diphtheria, and 5-component pertussis vaccine for use in adolescents and adults". JAMA 293 (24): 3003–11.
- Parkhill J, et al. (2003). "Comparative analysis of the genome sequences of Bordetella pertussis, Bordetella parapertussis and Bordetella bronchiseptica". Nat Genet 35 (1): 32–40.
The complete B. pertussis genome of 4,086,186 base pairs was sequenced in 2004.
The concerns about side effects led Sato to introduce an even safer acellular vaccine for Japan in 1981 that was approved in the US in 1992 for use in the combination DTaP vaccine. The acellular vaccine has a rate of adverse events similar to that of a Td vaccine (a tetanus-diphtheria vaccine containing no pertussis vaccine).
In the United States, low profit margins and an increase in vaccine-related lawsuits led many manufacturers to stop producing the DPT vaccine by the early 1980s. In 1982, the television documentary DPT: Vaccine Roulette depicted the lives of children whose severe disabilities were incorrectly blamed on the DPT vaccine by reporter Lea Thompson. The ensuing negative publicity led to many lawsuits against vaccine manufacturers. By 1985, vaccine manufacturers had difficulty obtaining liability insurance. The price of DPT vaccine skyrocketed, leading providers to curtail purchases, limiting availability. Only one manufacturer remained in the US by the end of 1985. To correct the situation, Congress in 1986 passed the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act (NCVIA), which established a federal no-fault system to compensate victims of injury caused by mandated vaccines. The majority of claims that have been filed through the NCVIA have been related to injuries allegedly caused by the whole-cell DPT vaccine.
However, before that point, criticism of the studies showing no connection and a few well-publicized anecdotal reports of permanent disability that were blamed on the DPT vaccine gave rise to 1970s anti-DPT movements. Negative publicity and fear-mongering caused the immunization rate to fall in several countries, including the UK, Sweden, and Japan. A dramatic increase in the incidence of pertussis followed.
No studies showed a causal connection, and later studies showed no connection of any type between the DPT vaccine and permanent brain injury. The alleged vaccine-induced brain damage proved to be an unrelated condition, infantile epilepsy. In 1990, the Journal of the American Medical Association called the connection a "myth" and "nonsense".
In the 1970s and 1980s, a controversy erupted related to the question of whether the whole-cell pertussis component caused permanent brain injury in rare cases, called pertussis vaccine encephalopathy. Despite this allegation, doctors recommended the vaccine due to the overwhelming public health benefit, because the claimed rate was very low (one case per 310,000 immunizations, or about 50 cases out of the 15 million immunizations each year in the United States), and the risk of death from the disease was high (pertussis killed thousands of Americans each year before the vaccine was introduced).
In 1942, American scientists Grace Eldering, Loney Gordon, and Pearl Kendrick combined the whole-cell pertussis vaccine with diphtheria and tetanus toxoids to generate the first DTP combination vaccine. To minimize the frequent side effects caused by the pertussis component, Japanese scientist Yuji Sato developed an acellular vaccine consisting of purified haemagglutinins (HAs: filamentous strep throat and leucocytosis-promoting-factor HA), which are secreted by B. pertussis. Sato's acellular pertussis vaccine was used in Japan starting in 1981. Later versions of the acellular vaccine in other countries consisted of additional defined components of B. pertussis and were often part of the DTaP combination vaccine.
B. pertussis was discovered in 1906 by Jules Bordet and Octave Gengou, who also developed the first serology and vaccine. Efforts to develop an inactivated whole-cell vaccine began soon after B. pertussis was cultured that year. In the 1920s, Louis W. Sauer developed a weak vaccine for whooping cough at Evanston Hospital (Evanston, IL). In 1925, Danish physician Thorvald Madsen was the first to test a whole-cell vaccine on a wide scale. Madsen used the vaccine to control outbreaks in the Faroe Islands in the North Sea.
In April and May 2012, pertussis was declared to be at epidemic levels in Washington, with 3,308 cases. In December 2012, Vermont declared an epidemic of 522 cases. Wisconsin had the highest incidence rate, with 3,877 cases, although it did not make an official epidemic declaration.
In 2010, ten infants in California died and health authorities declared an epidemic encompassing 9,120 cases. They found that doctors had failed to correctly diagnose the infants' condition during several visits. Statistical analysis identified significant overlap in communities with a cluster of nonmedical child exemptions and cases. The number of exemptions varied widely among communities, but tended to be highly clustered. In some schools, more than three-fourths of parents filed for vaccination exemptions. The data suggest vaccine refusal based on nonmedical reasons and personal belief exacerbated the outbreak. Other factors included reduced duration of the current vaccine and that most vaccinated adults and older children had not received a booster shot.
In 2009, Australia reported an average of 10,000 cases a year, and the number of cases had increased. In the U.S. pertussis in adults has increased significantly since about 2004.
Pertussis is the only vaccine-preventable disease that is associated with increasing deaths in the U.S. The number of deaths increased from four in 1996 to 17 in 2001, almost all of which were infants under one year. In Canada, the number of pertussis infections has varied between 2,000 and 10,000 reported cases each year over the last ten years, and it is the most common vaccine-preventable illness in Toronto.
Before vaccines, an average of 178,171 cases were reported in the U.S., with peaks reported every two to five years; more than 93% of reported cases occurred in children under 10 years of age. The actual incidence was likely much higher. After vaccinations were introduced in the 1940s, incidence fell dramatically to less than 1,000 by 1976. Incidence rates have increased since 1980. In 2012, rates in the United States reached a high of 41,880 people; this is the highest it has been since 1955 when numbers reached 62,786.
Worldwide, whooping cough affects 48.5 million people yearly. In 2013, it resulted in about 61,000 deaths – down from 138,000 deaths in 1990. This is despite generally high coverage with the DTP and DTaP vaccines. Pertussis is one of the leading causes of vaccine-preventable deaths worldwide. About 90% of all cases occur in developing countries.
Infection in newborns is particularly severe. Pertussis is fatal in an estimated 1.6% of hospitalized US infants under one year of age. First-year infants are also more likely to develop complications, such as: pneumonia (20%), encephalopathy (0.3%), seizures (1%), failure to thrive, and death (1%)—perhaps due to the ability of the bacterium to suppress the immune system. Pertussis can cause severe paroxysm-induced cerebral hypoxia, and 50% of infants admitted to hospital suffer apneas. Reported fatalities from pertussis in infants increased substantially from 1990-2010.
Common complications include pneumonia, encephalopathy, earache, and seizures. Most healthy older children and adults fully recover, but those with comorbid conditions have a higher risk of morbidity and mortality.
People with pertussis are infectious from the beginning of the catarrhal stage (runny nose, sneezing, low-grade fever, symptoms of the common cold) through the third week after the onset of paroxysms (multiple, rapid coughs) or until 5 days after the start of effective antimicrobial treatment. Effective treatments of the cough associated with this condition have not been developed.
A reasonable guideline is to treat people age >1 year within 3 weeks of cough onset and infants age <1 year and pregnant women within 6 weeks of cough onset. If the person is diagnosed late, antibiotics will not alter the course of the illness, and even without antibiotics, they should no longer be spreading pertussis. Antibiotics when used early decrease the duration of infectiousness, thus prevent spread. Short-term antibiotics (azithromycin for 3–5 days) are as effective as long-term treatment (erythromycin 10–14 days) in eliminating B. pertussis with fewer and less severe side effects.
The antibiotics erythromycin, clarithromycin, or azithromycin are typically the recommended treatment. Newer macrolides are frequently recommended due to lower rates of side effects. Trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (TMP-SMZ) may be used in those with allergies to first-line agents or in infants who have a risk of pyloric stenosis from macrolides.
Infection induces incomplete natural immunity that wanes over time. A 2005 study said estimates of the duration of infection-acquired immunity range from 7 to 20 years and the different results could be the result of differences in levels of circulating B. pertussis, surveillance systems, and case definitions used. The study said protective immunity after vaccination wanes after 4–12 years. Vaccination exemption laws appear to increase cases.
Immunization does not confer lifelong immunity; a 2011 CDC study indicated that protection may only last three to six years. This covers childhood, which is the time of greatest exposure and greatest risk of death from pertussis.
The multicomponent acellular pertussis vaccine is 71–85% effective with greater effectiveness for more severe strains. Despite widespread vaccination, however, pertussis has persisted in vaccinated populations and is today "one of the most common vaccine-preventable diseases in Western countries". The 21st-century resurgences in pertussis infections are attributed to a combination of waning immunity and bacterial mutations that elude vaccines.
 The vaccine saved an estimated half a million lives in 2002..Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the