The resurgence of pertussis in developed countries: a problem for Brazil as well?

Paula Mendes Luz Cláudia Torres Codeço Guilherme Loureiro Werneck About the authors

Pertussis is currently considered an important public health problem in developed countries. In most of these countries, mass immunization for pertussis was initiated in the 1950s and was followed by a marked decrease in disease incidence. In the 1970s, pertussis was apparently under control in countries were vaccine coverage was maintained high. However, in the last two decades of the 20th century, the number of reported cases increased in all age groups, including adolescents and adults, indicating resurgence of the disease. This brief note aims to present the possible reasons for resurgence of this disease and to discuss the prospects of its future dynamics in Brazil. There has been no evidence to date for the resurgence of pertussis in Brazil. However, since mass immunization in Brazil began only in the 1980s, one cannot rule out the possibility that pertussis will resurge in the near future. Therefore, it is important that public health services closely monitor the epidemiological situation of pertussis in order, if necessary, to rapidly update the current immunization strategy.

Whooping Cough; Emerging Communicable Diseases; Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis Vaccine; Vaccine Coverage


Escola Nacional de Saúde Pública Sergio Arouca, Fundação Oswaldo Cruz Rua Leopoldo Bulhões, 1480 , 21041-210 Rio de Janeiro RJ Brazil, Tel.:+55 21 2598-2511, Fax: +55 21 2598-2737 / +55 21 2598-2514 - Rio de Janeiro - RJ - Brazil
E-mail: cadernos@ensp.fiocruz.br