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J Infect Dis. 2003 Sep 1;188(5):738-42. Epub 2003 Aug 5.

Crucial role of antibodies to pertactin in Bordetella pertussis immunity.

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Immunotherapy Laboratory, Department of Immunology, University Medical Center, Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Erratum in

  • J Infect Dis. 2004 Jan 15;189(2):354.


Pertussis, a serious infectious disease of the respiratory tract caused by Bordetella pertussis, is reemerging in vaccinated populations. Efforts to curtail this disease are hampered by limited insight into the basis of protective immunity. Opsonophagocytosis was recently found to play a central role in cellular bactericidal activity against B. pertussis. In the present study, we studied the specificity of opsonic antibodies. Anti-pertactin antibodies, but not anti-pertussis toxin, anti-fimbriae, or anti-filamentous hemagglutinin antibodies, were found to be crucial for B. pertussis phagocytosis. These data are consistent with field studies showing that levels of antibodies to pertactin correlate with protection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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