Mor Sagmon, Chair, The Israel Vaccines Information Center (Non-Profit, Volunteer)
According to Boston University School of Public Health:
Pertussis “is back because we didn’t really understand how our immune defenses against whooping cough worked, and did not understand how the vaccines needed to work to prevent it,” said Christopher J. Gill, associate professor of global health and lead author of the article. “Instead we layered assumptions upon assumptions, and now find ourselves in the uncomfortable position of admitting that we may made some crucial errors. This is definitely not where we thought we’d be in 2017.”
Experimental and immunologic data has shown that aP vaccines do not provide herd immunity, while mathematical models imply otherwise. The researchers proposed a hypothesis to reconcile the contradictory findings: Herd effects from aP vaccines may be the result of modifications in disease presentation that lead to reduced possibility of transmission rather than induced resistance to infection.
The researchers also considered the role of several known factors in the rise of whooping cough cases, including detection bias, waning of immunity, and evolutionary shifts in the bacteria’s genome. They found that, while contributing to the increase in incidence, these factors alone do not fully explain existing epidemiologic data.