Infection caused by Bordetella pertussis in young infants can lead to severe illness and death. Several countries with good pertussis vaccine coverage, above 90%, had outbreaks of this disease from 2010, including Brazil. One of the strategies to reduce the transmission of pertussis to young infants, especially below 6 months of age, is the introduction of Tdap vaccination in pregnant women between 27 and 36 weeks of gestation. Vaccination of pregnant women with Tdap is an emergency measure to reduce hospitalizations and deaths from pertussis in young infants, especially those younger than 3 months of age, which is the population group where the most frequent serious illness occurs. Passive immunity to pertussis in these newborns is temporary, lasting less than 6 months, and there is discussion in the literature of its interference with maternal immunity and immunity of young infants to other vaccines. The acquired immunity to pertussis, both by natural disease and by vaccines, is temporary, and it is known that the immune response to the acellular vaccine is smaller and less durable than the whole-cell vaccine. New strategies for pertussis control should be developed to better cope with this disease overall.
Part of the book: Pertussis