Pertussis-associated persistent cough in previously vaccinated children

Nicola Principi, David Litt, Leonardo Terranova, Marina Picca, Concetta Malvaso, Cettina Vitale, Norman K. Fry, Susanna Esposito, Italian Pertussis Group for Persistent Cough in Children

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To evaluate the role of Bordetella pertussis infection, 96 otherwise healthy 7- to 17-year-old subjects who were suffering from a cough lasting from 2 to 8 weeks were prospectively recruited. At enrolment, a nasopharyngeal swab and an oral fluid sample were obtained to search for pertussis infection by the detection of B. pertussis DNA and/or an elevated titre of antipertussis toxin IgG. Evidence of pertussis infection was found in 18 (18.7 %; 95% confidence interval, 11.5–28.0) cases. In 15 cases, the disease occurred despite booster administration. In two cases, pertussis was diagnosed less than 2 years after the booster injection, whereas in the other cases it was diagnosed between 2 and 9 years after the booster dose. This study used non-invasive testing to show that pertussis is one of the most important causes of long-lasting cough in school-age subjects. Moreover, the protection offered by acellular pertussis vaccines currently wanes more rapidly than previously thought.

Original languageEnglish
Article number000607
Pages (from-to)1699-1702
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Medical Microbiology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2017


  • Bordetella pertussis
  • Cough
  • Pediatric infectious diseases
  • Pertussis
  • Pertussis vaccination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Microbiology (medical)


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