2008 Study: Pertussis Infection and Atopic Disorders in Vaccinated and Unvaccinated Children

The following study was published on February 19th, 2008. I am pasting the abstract below from PubMed for the full text of the study please see HERE.

Thank you mommyof3 for bringing this study to my attention.

To help my readers, Atopy is defined as the following (this definition is taken from Wikipedia): Atopy (Greek ατοπία – placelessness) or atopic syndrome is an allergic hypersensitivity affecting parts of the body not in direct contact with the allergen. It may involve eczema (atopic dermatitis), allergic conjunctivitis, allergic rhinitis and asthma.

In lamens terms this study looked at children ages 8-12 that were either vaccinated or unvaccinated for pertussis (whole cell) within their first year of life and then subsequently contracted the pertussis disease during their childhoods. They then compared out of the vaccinated and unvaccinated children the incidence of atopy during the course of the child’s life. All though the unvaccinated children had a much higher rate of contracting the pertussis disease they found that only the vaccinated children had a positive correlation with developing atopic disorders following infection with pertussis.

I love the following quote that is taken from the Discussions section in the full text article. I myself don’t find it too puzzling:

“Our finding of positive associations in vaccinated
children is in line with associations found in
other studies, but contrasts sharply with the
results in our group of pertussis-unvaccinated
children. This is puzzling, as in these children, the
pathogen has more impact, and one would thus
expect, if the relationship is causal, a stronger
relationship between infection and atopy in the
unprotected group. Also, with a higher prevalence
of past pertussis infection in the unvaccinated
group, we would expect a higher
prevalence of atopic disorders in this group
compared with the vaccinated group, but this is
not the case (Table 2). This suggests that the
effect of pertussis infection on atopy is restricted
to pertussis-vaccinated children, an explanation
supported by research in a mouse model (23).”

Here is the abstract:

Pediatr Allergy Immunol. 2008 Feb;19(1):46-52. Epub 2007 Dec
11.
Related Articles, Links
Reported pertussis infection and risk of atopy in 8- to 12-yr-old
vaccinated and non-vaccinated children.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18086216?dopt=Abstract

Bernsen RM, Nagelkerke NJ, Thijs C, van der Wouden JC.

Department of General Practice, Erasmus MC – University Medical
Center Rotterdam, Rotterdam, The Netherlands. roos.bernsen@uaeu.ac.ae

HIGHLIGHTS:

“In the unvaccinated group, there were no significant associations
between pertussis infection and atopic disorders.

In the vaccinated
group, all associations between pertussis infection and atopic
disorders were positive, the associations with asthma [odds ratio
(OR) = 2.24, 95% confidence interval (CI(95%)): 1.36-3.70], hay fever
(OR = 2.35, CI(95%): 1.46-3.77) and food allergy (OR = 2.68, CI(95%):
1.48-4.85) being significant. There was a positive association
between pertussis infection and atopic disorders in the pertussis
vaccinated group only. From the present study, it cannot be concluded
whether this association is causal or due to reverse causation.”

ABSTRACT:

Pertussis infection has been suspected to be a potential causal
factor in the development of atopic disease because of the effect of
pertussis immunization on specific IgE antibodies. Although several
studies found a positive association between pertussis infection and
atopic disorders, this relationship has not yet been studied in a
population stratified by vaccination status. To assess the
association between pertussis infection and atopic disorders in
pertussis-unvaccinated children and in pertussis-vaccinated children.
Using data from a previously conducted study on the relationship
between the diphtheria-tetanus-per tussis-(inactivated) poliomyelitis
vaccination in the first year of life and atopic disorders, the study
population of 1872 8-12 yr old was divided into children pertussis-
unvaccinated and children pertussis-vaccinated in the first year of
life. Within each group, the association between pertussis infection
and atopic disorders (both as reported by the parents) was assessed.
In the unvaccinated group, there were no significant associations
between pertussis infection and atopic disorders. In the vaccinated
group, all associations between pertussis infection and atopic
disorders were positive, the associations with asthma [odds ratio
(OR) = 2.24, 95% confidence interval (CI(95%)): 1.36-3.70], hay fever
(OR = 2.35, CI(95%): 1.46-3.77) and food allergy (OR = 2.68, CI(95%):
1.48-4.85) being significant. There was a positive association
between pertussis infection and atopic disorders in the pertussis
vaccinated group only. From t h e present study, it cannot be concluded
whether this association is causal or due to reverse causation.

PMID: 18086216 [PubMed – in process]

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One comment

  1. Lynn · April 13, 2008

    I really enjoyed your blog. Its full of great info…I will visit often. Thanks!

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