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Pertussis or ‘whopping cough’ is an infection usually caused by the bacteria Bordetella pertussis (and less frequently by B. parapertussis), resulting in an acute (short-term) febrile (feverish) illness of the respiratory system (James D. Cherry. 1998, pp. 1423). The condition more frequently occurs in children (90 % of all cases) than adults (less than 10 % of all cases). Children below the age of 5 years are usually affected (A. D. M. Bryceson. 1996, pp. 121).
Pertussis and B. Parapertussis causes infection in all mammals, and B. bronchiseptica usually causes severe infection in animals, and rarely infects man. B. bronchiseptica organism may have given rise to the whopping cough causative organisms (Dimitri A Diavatopoulos. 2005). G de Baillou first described the condition of whooping cough in 1578 during an epidemic that hit the city of Paris. Bordet and Gengou identified the disease-causing organism in the year 1906. Eldering and Kendrick identified that B. Parapertussis could also result in the symptoms and signs of whooping cough in he 1930’s.
Once the bacteria responsible for causing Pertussis were identified, it was easy to prepare a vaccine against the bacteria. Madsen was able to produce the first effective vaccine against Pertussis in the year 1925. The vaccine preparing process became standardized only in the year 1947. The British Medical Council conducted several trials to demonstrate the safety and the efficacy of the vaccine for use in children in the 1940’s and 1950’s. Many nations across the world have adopted pediatric immunizing against Pertussis along with diphtheria and tetanus.
DTP was introduced in the year 1949. The Pertussis vaccine is usually marked in international units (IU) suggesting use of mouse weight gain test and mouse protection test. In the 1970’s several European countries and Japan had expressed concern over the use of the traditional vaccine in infants and children as it caused a number of severe side-effects. They shifted to using acellular vaccines. Pertussis vaccine is available along with diphtheria and tetanus, or a single vaccine (James D. Cherry. 1998, pp. 1423-1424).
The effectiveness of the Pertussis vaccine frequently reduced following poor storage condition, improper administration, variations in the immunizations schedules, etc. The child being vaccinated may develop several side-effects. The milder side-effects usually occur frequently, whereas the more serious ones rarely occur. A study was conducted to determine which component of the DTP vaccine that was responsible for the side-effects. Studies showed that the ill-effects usually arose from the Pertussis component.
Some of the common side-effects included fever, redness at the site, irritability, drowsiness, vomiting, loss of appetite, pain, developing an unusual cry, etc. The more serious side-effects such as seizures, shock, collapse, severe allergic reactions, neurological disease (destructive encephalopathy, infantile spasm, and permanent brain damage), death, etc, occurred less frequently (James D. Cherry. 1998, pp. 1431-1433). The vaccine can be administered along with diphtheria and tetanus vaccines or independently.
It usually begins during infancy. Recently (2005), a booster dose of Pertussis is introduced for use in children and teenagers. Vaccination is actively performed in children, and some researchers suggest vaccinating adults (David A. Kaufman. 2006). Pertussis vaccination is available in two forms, namely, whole-cell vaccines and acellular vaccines. DTP is usually administered during 2, 4, 6, 12 and 18 months of age. In some cases (especially during epidemics), the vaccination can be started as early as 2 weeks of age.
Acellular forms of the Pertussis vaccines contained lower amounts of endotoxin and greater amounts of toxoid. They were developed by several Japanese companies. The incidence of fever, systemic effects and local reactions were significantly lesser in the acellular forms than the whole-cell forms (James D. Cherry. 1998, pp. 1433-1434). It is also recommended that adults receive a dose of the Pertussis booster dose every ten years, to improve the effectiveness of the vaccine in preventing the disease and reducing transmission to children and infants (Mayo Clinic. 2006).Sample Essay of PaperHelp