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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.

Original publication




Journal article


Br Med Bull

Publication Date





69 - 77


elimination, maternal, neonatal tetanus, tetanus, Coinfection, Female, HIV Infections, Humans, Malaria, Pregnancy, Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects, Tetanus, Tetanus Toxoid, Vaccination