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Canadian Journal of Infectious Diseases and Medical Microbiology
Volume 16, Issue 5, Pages 271-274
Original Article

A Comparison of Pertussis Rates in the Northwest Territories: Pre- and Postacellular Pertussis Vaccine Introduction in Children and Adolescents

Kami Kandola, Amy Lea,1 Wanda White,2 and Maria Santos3

1Stanton Territorial Health Authority, Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada
2Yellowknife Health and Social Services, Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada
3Department of Health and Social Services, Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada

Received 21 February 2005; Accepted 13 June 2005

Copyright © 2005 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


INTRODUCTION: During the past decade, a trend toward increasing cases of Bordetella pertussis in older children and adults has been witnessed in Canada. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization now recommends that the adult formulation of the acellular pertussis (adult dTap) vaccine combined with diphtheria and tetanus toxoids be substituted for diphtheria and tetanus toxoids alone for the 14- to 16-year-old booster dose. In October 2000, the government of the Northwest Territories was one of the first to adopt adult dTap into their territorial immunization program free of charge.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effect of the acellular pertussis vaccine in children and adolescents on the epidemiology of pertussis in the Northwest Territories.

METHODS: Pertussis is a reportable disease in the Northwest Territories, and data on the incidence rates of pertussis are available from 1989 to 2004. The present study reviews pertussis cases during three four-year periods: the whole-cell vaccine era (1993 to 1996); the preadult dTap era (1997 to 2000); and the postadult dTap era (2001 to 2004).

RESULTS: The incidence of pertussis decreased from 18.0 cases per 10,000 population in 1993 to 0.2 cases per 10,000 population in 2004. The number of cases decreased from 186 to 129 to 19 cases in the three chronological time periods (ie, whole-cell vaccine era, preadult dTap era and postadult dTap era, respectively), with the most substantial reduction coming with the introduction of postadult dTap.

CONCLUSIONS: There appears to be a decrease in the incidence of pertussis with the targeted introduction of adult dTap in the Northwest Territories.