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Cadernos de Saúde Pública

On-line version ISSN 1678-4464Print version ISSN 0102-311X


CODECO, Cláudia Torres  and  LUZ, Paula Mendes. Is pertussis actually reemerging? Insights from an individual-based model. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2001, vol.17, n.3, pp.491-500. ISSN 1678-4464.

In this paper, we introduce a spatially explicit, individual-based model developed to simulate the dynamics of pertussis in a small population. With this simulation approach, complex epidemic systems can be built using information on parasite population structure (strain diversity, virulence diversity, etc.), human population structure (individual risk, age structure, interaction matrices, immune response, etc.), as well as mechanisms of evolution and learning. We parameterized our model to describe pertussis in an age-structured community. Pertussis or whooping cough is an acute infection of the respiratory tract caused by Bordetella pertussis. Despite wide-scale vaccination in many countries, this disease is reemerging throughout the world in both adults and children. Emergence has been explained by many factors: wane of vaccine and natural immunity, increase of asymptomatic carriers, and/or natural selection of non-vaccine strains. Here, we model these hypotheses and analyze their potential impact on the observed increase of pertussis notification.

Keywords : Whooping Cough; Pertussis Vaccine; Computer Simulation.

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