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Vaccine. 2008 Mar 17;26(12):1530-4. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2008.01.020. Epub 2008 Feb 4.

Antigenic variation in Bordetella pertussis isolates recovered from adults and children in Japan.

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Department of Bacterial Pathogenesis and Infection Control, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Gakuen 4-7-1, Musashimurayama, Tokyo, Japan.


Recently, the incidence of reported pertussis cases of adults has dramatically increased in Japan. In the present study, we analyzed seven Bordetella pertussis isolates recovered from adults in Japan using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and sequencing of their antigenic and virulence-associated proteins, compared with those from children. PFGE analysis demonstrated that the adult strains were closely related to the child strains (78-100% genetic similarity). On the other hand, the genotyping revealed that 71% (5/7) of the adult strains and 47% (25/53) of the child strains had the same combination of antigenic/virulence-associated allelic variants (ptxS1B/prn1/fim2-1/fim3A/fhaB1/tcfA2) as the Japanese vaccine strain Tohama, respectively. In comparison to the child strains, there was no apparent antigenic and genetic shift in the adult strains. Our result suggests that (i) there is no B. pertussis circulating strain specific to adults and (ii) the antigenic/virulence-associated proteins are unrelated to the rise in adult pertussis incidence in Japan.

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