Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
, 10, 1344

Pertussis Prevention: Reasons for Resurgence, and Differences in the Current Acellular Pertussis Vaccines


Pertussis Prevention: Reasons for Resurgence, and Differences in the Current Acellular Pertussis Vaccines

Susanna Esposito et al. Front Immunol.


Pertussis is an acute respiratory disease caused by Bordetella pertussis. Due to its frequency and severity, prevention of pertussis has been considered an important public health issue for many years. The development of the whole-cell pertussis vaccine (wPV) and its introduction into the pediatric immunization schedule was associated with a marked reduction in pertussis cases in the vaccinated cohort. However, due to the frequency of local and systemic adverse events after immunization with wPV, work on a less reactive vaccine was undertaken based on isolated B. pertussis components that induced protective immune responses with fewer local and systemic reactions. These component vaccines were termed acellular vaccines and contained one or more pertussis antigens, including pertussis toxin (PT), filamentous haemagglutinin (FHA), pertactin (PRN), and fimbrial proteins 2 (FIM2) and 3 (FIM3). Preparations containing up to five components were developed, and several efficacy trials clearly demonstrated that the aPVs were able to confer comparable short-term protection than the most effective wPVs with fewer local and systemic reactions. There has been a resurgence of pertussis observed in recent years. This paper reports the results of a Consensus Conference organized by the World Association for Infectious Disease and Immunological Disorders (WAidid) on June 22, 2018, in Perugia, Italy, with the goal of evaluating the most important reasons for the pertussis resurgence and the role of different aPVs in this resurgence.

Keywords: Bordetella pertussis; acellular pertussis vaccine; pertussis; pertussis prevention; whole-cell pertussis vaccine.


Figure 1
Figure 1
Efficacy of pertussis vaccines against World Health Organization-defined typical pertussis.
Figure 2
Figure 2
Reasons for underestimation of pertussis incidence and mortality.

Similar articles

See all similar articles


    1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Pertussis (whooping cough). Causes and Transmission. (2017). Available online at: (accessed August 15, 2018).
    1. Yeung KHT, Duclos P, Nelson EAS, Hutubessy RCW. An update of the global burden of pertussis in children younger than 5 years: a modelling study. Lancet Infect Dis. (2017) 17:974–80. 10.1016/S1473-3099(17)30390-0 - DOI - PubMed
    1. Cherry JD, Brunnel P, Golden G. Report of the task force on pertussis and pertussis immunization. Pediatrics. (1988) 81(Suppl) 933–84.
    1. Plotkin SA, Orenstein W, Offit PA, editors. (editors). Vaccines. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; (2013).
    1. Berkovic SF, Harkin L, McMahon JM, Pelekanos JT, Zuberi SM, Wirrell EC, et al. . De-novo mutations of the sodium channel gene SCN1A in alleged vaccine encephalopathy: a retrospective study. Lancet Neurol. (2006) 5:488–92. 10.1016/S1474-4422(06)70446-X - DOI - PubMed

LinkOut - more resources