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Science. 2010 Nov 12;330(6006):982-5. doi: 10.1126/science.1194134.

Contact network structure explains the changing epidemiology of pertussis.

Author information

1
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA. rohani@umich.edu

Abstract

The epidemiology of whooping cough (pertussis) remains enigmatic. A leading cause of infant mortality globally, its resurgence in several developed nations--despite the availability and use of vaccines for many decades--has caused alarm. We combined data from a singular natural experiment and a detailed contact network study to show that age-specific contact patterns alone can explain shifts in prevalence and age-stratified incidence in the vaccine era. The practical implications of our results are notable: Ignoring age-structured contacts is likely to result in misinterpretation of epidemiological data and potentially costly policy missteps.

PMID:
21071671
DOI:
10.1126/science.1194134
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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