PREVALENCE OF PERTUSSIS ANTIBODIES IN UMBILICAL CORD BLOOD SAMPLES IN CATALONIA, SPAIN


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Abstract

The objective of the study was to determine the prevalence of detectable antipertussis antibodies (anti-PT) and recent pertussis infection in a representative sample (n = 508) of pregnant women in Catalonia (Spain). Antipertussis (PT) antibodies were determined in cord blood samples using an in-house enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay test. The prevalence of detectable anti-PT levels was 72.8% and the prevalence of recent pertussis infection in mothers (cord blood anti-PT level of ≥195 EU/mL) was 1.8%. The prevalence of detectable anti-PT levels increased with maternal age (P < 0.05) and the prevalence of recent pertussis infection decreased with maternal age (P < 0.01). Results obtained in this study show that it might be necessary to develop a pertussis vaccination program using acellular pertussis vaccines aimed at pregnant women to reduce the risk of pertussis infection during pregnancy and in neonates.

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