The role of Bordetella pertussis infections in adults in the epidemiology of pertussis

Dev Biol Stand. 1997;89:181-6.


In six of the seven efficacy studies, cases of pertussis in adults were diagnosed. In particular, primary cases in adults were common in study families in the Mainz and Erlangen studies. Recent epidemiological studies indicate that B. pertussis infections in adults are common and endemic. It is suggested that B. pertussis circulation cannot be controlled by immunization of children but that acellular vaccines make it possible to give booster immunizations to adults. An adult booster programme might decrease the circulation of B. pertussis in adults and could lead to the elimination of the organism from the population.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antibodies, Bacterial / analysis
  • Antibodies, Bacterial / biosynthesis
  • Bordetella pertussis / physiology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis Vaccine*
  • Diphtheria-Tetanus-acellular Pertussis Vaccines
  • Germany / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Immunization Schedule
  • Immunization, Secondary
  • Immunoglobulin A / analysis
  • Infant
  • Sweden / epidemiology
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Whooping Cough / epidemiology*
  • Whooping Cough / microbiology
  • Whooping Cough / therapy


  • Antibodies, Bacterial
  • Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis Vaccine
  • Diphtheria-Tetanus-acellular Pertussis Vaccines
  • Immunoglobulin A