New variants of Bordetella pertussis, the causative agent of whooping cough, have been isolated in the United States. The new strains were first reported in Japan, France and Finland. The increased reports of whooping cough, the worst year in 60 years, may be attributed to the new strain which French researchers believe is resistant to the vaccine currently available. A letter to the editor published in today’s New England Journal of Medicine analyzes the variants cultured from children hospitalized in Philadelphia during 2011 and 2012. Have you noticed more patients presenting with whooping cough?
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