Association between pertussis vaccination in infancy and childhood asthma: A population-based record linkage cohort study

Gladymar Pérez Chacón, Parveen Fathima, Mark Jones, Marie J. Estcourt, Heather F. Gidding, Hannah C. Moore, Peter C. Richmond, Tom Snelling

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1 Citation (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Asthma is among the commonest noncommunicable diseases of childhood and often occurs with other atopic comorbidities. A previous case-control study found evidence that compared to children who received acellular pertussis (aP) vaccines in early infancy, children who received one or more doses of whole-cell pertussis (wP) vaccine had lower risk of developing IgE-mediated food allergy. We hypothesized that wP vaccination in early infancy might protect against atopic asthma in childhood. METHODS: Retrospective record-linkage cohort study of children between 5 and < 15 years old and born between January 1997, and December 1999, in the Australian states of Western Australia (WA) and New South Wales (NSW), receiving wP versus aP vaccine as the first pertussis vaccine dose. The main outcome and measures were first and recurrent hospitalizations for asthma; hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were computed by means of Cox and Andersen and Gill models. RESULTS: 274,405 children aged between 5 and < 15 years old (78.4% NSW-born) received a first dose of either wP (67.8%) or aP vaccine before 4 months old. During the follow-up period, there were 5,905 hospitalizations for asthma among 3,955 children. The incidence rate for first hospitalization was 1.5 (95% CI 1.4-1.5) per 1,000 child-years among children receiving wP vaccine as a first dose, and 1.5 (95% CI 1.4-1.6) among those vaccinated with aP vaccine as a first dose. The adjusted HRs for those who received wP vaccine versus aP vaccine as the first dose were 1.02 (95% CI 0.94-1.12) for first hospitalizations and 1.07 (95% CI 0.95-1.2) for recurrent hospitalizations for asthma. CONCLUSIONS: We found no convincing evidence of a clinically relevant association between receipt of wP versus aP vaccines in early infancy and hospital presentations for asthma in childhood.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0291483
JournalPLoS One
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2023


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