Pertussis in north-central and northwestern regions of Algeria
Introduction: Pertussis outbreaks continue to occur in many countries despite high vaccination coverage. Under-diagnosed cases in adolescents and adults may result in increased transmission to infants, who are at risk of severe pertussis. Additional measures to protect both groups should be considered.
Methodology: Nasopharyngeal samples and sera were collected from patients and household contacts with clinically suspected pertussis. Diagnoses were confirmed by culture, real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR), and serology. Bordetella pertussis isolates were characterized by antimicrobial sensitivity and fimbrial serotyping.
Results: Of 392 participants, 134/248 patients (54%) and 66/144 contacts (45.8%) had confirmed pertussis infections. B. parapertussis was not detected. All B. pertussis isolates were sensitive to the antibiotics tested, and all expressed the Fim3, not the Fim2, fimbrial serotype. Most patients (81.2%) were <6 months (51.8% of whom were <3 months) of age; 77.6% were unvaccinated, and most positive contacts were mothers 20–40 years of age.
Conclusions: Despite high vaccination coverage, pertussis is circulating in Algeria. Most infections occur in unvaccinated infants <6 months of age, with mothers as the main source of infection. An adolescent/adult booster should be considered. Adoption of sensitive and specific laboratory tests would improve pertussis diagnosis and surveillance.
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