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Pertussis is a highly contagious disease caused by Bordetella pertussis, which may be preventable by vaccination. There are two types of vaccines: whole-cell vaccines and acellular vaccines. Since pertussis control worldwide is heterogeneous, re-emergence of whooping cough has been observed in some countries. This re-emergence has been related to several factors: increased susceptibility to infection, better detection of disease, problems in obtaining adequate vaccination coverage, increase in susceptible subjects (mainly under 6 months of age), loss of immunity in adolescents and young adults, and likely genetic and adaptive B. pertussis changes. This paper discusses whole-cell and acellular vaccines' characteristics, advantages, and disadvantages. International recommendations are presented, and the participants' position is offered regarding the influence of the use of acellular vaccines and the potential disadvantages of reintroducing whole-cell vaccines, mainly due to their reactogenicity. Finally, strategies to achieve better control of pertussis in Mexico are discussed.


Agustín De Colsa-Ranero, Mercedes Macías-Parra, Marte Hernández-Porras, Luis Xochihua-Díaz, Arturo Galindo-Fraga, Sarbelio Moreno-Espinosa, Fortino Solórzano-Santos. An expert panel opinion on protection against pertussis in Mexico: The role of acellular and whole-cell vaccines. Boletin medico del Hospital Infantil de Mexico. 2022;79(3):152-160

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PMID: 35882025

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