Epidemiology of pertussis in a country with high vaccination coverage

Inma Crespo, Neus Cardeñosa, Pere Godoy, Gloria Carmona, M. Rosa Sala, Irene Barrabeig, Josep Álvarez, Sofia Minguel, Neus Camps, Joan Caylà, Joan Batalla, Gemma Codina, Ángela Domínguez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Introduction: Pertussis has been a preventable disease in Catalonia since 1965, but the annual number of cases remains high. The aim of this study was to analyze the epidemiology of pertussis in Catalonia and its implications for control purposes. Methods: An epidemiological study was carried out in Catalonia between 2004 and 2008. Pertussis cases reported to the Department of Health were collected and disease reports were filled out with the case information. Incidence rates, rate ratios (RR) and their 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated. Results: 963 cases were reported: 555 (57.6%) were confirmed and 408 (42.4%) were suspected cases. The reported incidence rate was 2.01×10-5 person years in 2004 and 4.34 in 2008. The biggest increase in cases between 2004 and 2008 was observed in the ≥35 years age group (RR: 6.98; 95%CI: 2.11-36.36). 303 (31.5%) patients were hospitalized, of whom 93.7% were aged <1 year. Clinical differences were observed in paroxysmal cough (83.8% in suspected and 76.4% in confirmed cases, p=0.005), posttussive vomiting (47.1% and 36.1%, respectively, p=0.001), apnoea (13.7% and 21.3%, respectively, p=0.003) and fever (20.1% and 12.4%, respectively, p=0.001). Conclusion: Pertussis incidence rates increased during the study period, with the greatest increase occurring in the ≥35 years age group. A booster dose of vaccine in young people could reduce the circulation of B. pertussis in adolescents and adults and indirectly reduce the incidence in children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4244-4248
Number of pages5
Issue number25
StatePublished - Jun 6 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Epidemiology
  • Pertussis
  • Surveillance
  • Vaccination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • veterinary(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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