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Vaccine. 2008 Dec 9;26(52):6929-35. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2008.09.064. Epub 2008 Oct 11.

Differences of humoral and cellular immune response to an acellular pertussis booster in adolescents with a whole cell or acellular primary vaccination.

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University Children's Hospital, Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich, Germany.


To study the pertussis-specific immune response of adolescents with different prevaccination schedules, we measured the humoral and cell-mediated immunity (CMI) to pertussis antigens before and after a five-component Tdap booster vaccination in 78 adolescents, who had previously received either five doses of a two-component acellular pertussis vaccine (aP; last dose age 4-6 years), four doses of aP (last dose age 18-24 months), or four doses of whole cell pertussis vaccine (wcP; last dose age 18-24 months). The proportion of participants with a twofold rise in titre was 79% against pertussis toxin (PT), 94% against filamentous hemagglutinin (FHA), and 99% against pertactin (PRN) without significant differences between the three groups. However, participants with primary wcP vaccination showed higher postvaccination titres to pertussis toxin (geometric mean titre, GMT 50.3EU/ml) than those with either four (GMT 17.1EU/ml) or five (GMT 16.4EU/ml) previous aP doses. CMI indices to PT, FHA, PRN and fimbriae (FIM) increased after vaccination and were similar between groups. The current adolescent Tdap booster immunization induced good humoral and cellular immune response to pertussis. The higher antibody titres to pertussis toxin may indicate a more effective priming of B cell memory after primary whole-cell vaccination.

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