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Clin Infect Dis. 2007 May 15;44(10):1271-7. Epub 2007 Apr 2.

Immunity to pertussis 5 years after booster immunization during adolescence.

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Department of Pediatrics, Turku University Hospital, Turku, Finland.



We conducted a 5-year follow-up study on the persistence of pertussis-specific antibody and cell-mediated immunity after booster immunization of adolescents aged 11-13 years with a tricomponent acellular pertussis vaccine (Boostrix; trials diphtheria-tetanus-acellular pertussis [Tdap]-004/030).


Cellular and humoral immunity to pertussis toxin (PT), filamentous hemagglutinin, and pertactin were measured in adolescents (age, 16 years) 5 years after booster immunization. Similar investigations were performed for control adolescents who had received only diphtheria and tetanus booster vaccination.


Five years after pertussis booster vaccination, the geometric mean concentrations of immunoglobulin G (IgG) elicited by each of the 3 pertussis vaccine antigens decreased from 1-month and 3-year postvaccination levels, but with the exception of PT IgG, were still higher than the prevaccination levels. PT IgG levels were undetectable in 28% of the subjects, but 44% of those subjects still tested positive for cell-mediated immunity to PT. Filamentous hemagglutinin IgG and pertactin IgG levels were significantly higher in Tdap-boosted adolescents than in the control subjects. Antibody concentrations at 1 month after vaccination strongly predicted antibody persistence. Cell-mediated immunity levels to PT, filamentous hemagglutinin, and pertactin persisted above the prebooster levels measured 5 years earlier.


The results of the present study of adolescents indicate that the interval between acellular pertussis booster immunizations might be extended beyond 5 years.

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