Journal Article

Eradication of tetanus

C. L. Thwaites and H. T. Loan

in British Medical Bulletin

Volume 116, issue 1, pages 69-77
Published in print December 2015 | ISSN: 0007-1420
Published online December 2015 | e-ISSN: 1471-8391 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bmb/ldv044

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Introduction

The causative agent of tetanus, Clostridium tetani is widespread in the environment throughout the world and cannot be eradicated. To reduce the number of cases of tetanus efforts are focussed on prevention using vaccination and post-exposure wound care.

Sources of data

Medline, Pubmed and Cochrane databases; World Health Organization and United Nations Children's Fund publications.

Areas of agreement

The maternal and neonatal tetanus elimination initiative has resulted in significant reductions in mortality from neonatal tetanus throughout the world.

Areas of controversy

Although there are few data available it is likely that large numbers of children and adults, particularly men, remain unprotected due to lack of booster immunization.

Areas timely for developing research

It remains unclear how HIV and malaria affect both responses to vaccination and transplacental transfer of antibodies or how this might affect timing of vaccination doses.

Keywords: tetanus; elimination; maternal; neonatal tetanus

Journal Article.  4308 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medicine and Health

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