Retrospective cohort study investigating extent of pertussis transmission during a boarding school outbreak, England, December 2017 to June 2018

Matt Edmunds*, Rachel Mearkle, Jennifer Folliard, Charlotte Anderson, Uthayasoori Balasegaram, Nastassya Chandra, Clare Sawyer, Norman Fry, Sonia Ribeiro, Gemma Palmer, Michael Morgan, Gill Underhill, Nusreen Ahmad, Simon Friar, Andre Charlett, David Litt, Colin Brown, Gayatri Amirthalingam

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

On 1 May 2018, a pertussis outbreak was declared and widespread vaccination recommended at an all-female secondary boarding school in southern England. We conducted a retrospective cohort study to determine the extent of pertussis transmission and identify risk factors in this semi-closed population. Of 504 students and staff assessed before post-exposure vaccination, 48% (n = 240) had evidence of pertussis. A sub-analysis of 409 students found that both residential dormitory (p=0.05) and school year (p=0.03) were associated with pertussis, with odds decreasing by 11% for each increase in school year (95% confidence interval: 0.7–20.2). Odds of pertussis were 1.7 times higher in those assumed to have received acellular vaccines for their primary course compared with those assumed to have received whole-cell vaccines (based on date of birth), although this difference was not significant (p=0.12). Our findings support the need for timely, widespread vaccination following identification of cases among adolescents in a semi-closed United Kingdom (UK) setting and to review the evidence for the introduction of an adolescent pertussis booster to the UK routine vaccination programme.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1900736
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalEurosurveillance
Volume26
Issue number26
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • BORDETELLA-PERTUSSIS
  • VACCINATION

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