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August 1963

Extracted Pertussis Antigen: A Clinical Appraisal

Author Affiliations

Carl Weihl, MD, Department of Pediatrics, Cincinnati General Hospital, Cincinnati 29,Ohio.; From the Departments of Pediatrics, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, and the Cincinnati General Hospital, Associate Clinical Professor of Pediatrics, (Dr. Weihl); Department of Pediatrics, Children's Memorial Hospital, University of Oklahoma Medical Center, Oklahoma City, Professor and Head, Department of Pediatrics, (Dr. Riley); and Department of Pediatrics, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and the Bronx Hospital, New York, Associate Clinical Professor of Pediatrics, (Dr. Lapin).

Am J Dis Child. 1963;106(2):210-215. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1963.02080050212016

Since the introduction of pertussis vaccine, as a single agent, and subsequently in combination with diphtheria and tetanus antigens, several attempts have been made to improve the original whole-cell suspension. These were prompted in part by the variability of antibody response (especially in the early months of life), the high incidence of systemic reactions, and the occasional occurrence of severe neurological manifestations following administration of whole-cell pertussis antigens. Despite the variability in antibody response to pertussis vaccine noted in infants in the first three months of life and the general practice of initiating pertussis immunization above this age, there has been a steady decline in pertussis morbidity and mortality in the United States in the past thirty years, associated in part with the almost universal administration of pertussis vaccine, either alone or in combination, to infants in the United States.

That mortality from pertussis is still a significant one, however,

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