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Vaccine. 2009 Oct 9;27(43):6042-7. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2009.07.075. Epub 2009 Aug 7.

Cytokine and antibody profiles in 1-year-old children vaccinated with either acellular or whole-cell pertussis vaccine during infancy.

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Laboratory of Vaccinology and Mucosal Immunity, Université Libre de Bruxelles (U.L.B.), 808 route de Lennik, 1070 Brussels, Belgium.


Two different types of pertussis vaccines are currently available to protect children against whooping cough, the first-generation whole-cell (Pw) vaccines and the more recent acellular (Pa) vaccines. Both types provide good protection, yet induce different types of immune responses in 6-month-old infants, with a strong Th1 response induced by Pw vaccines compared to a mixed Th1/Th2 response and a delay in non-specific IFN-gamma secretions after the administration of Pa vaccines. We show here that at 13 months of age, most Pw- or Pa-vaccinated children display Bordetella pertussis-specific T-cell responses, in addition to significant antibody levels, although a higher Th2/Th1 cytokine ratio remained in Pa recipients compared to Pw recipients. In contrast, the proportion of children with tetanus toxin-specific T-cell responses was lower in Pa than in Pw vaccine recipients, although most children had protective anti-tetanus toxin IgG levels. In addition, the global Th2 bias observed in 6-month-old infants vaccinated with a Pa vaccine was normalized at 13 months.

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