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J Infect Dis. 2012 Apr 15;205(8):1214-9. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jis182. Epub 2012 Mar 1.

Gene polymorphism in toll-like receptor 4: effect on antibody production and persistence after acellular pertussis vaccination during adolescence.

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  • 1Department of Infectious Disease Surveillance and Control, National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL), Turku, Finland.



Toll-like receptors play an important role in the regulation of adaptive immunity. This study aimed to investigate whether Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) polymorphisms influence the production and persistence of antibodies after acellular pertussis booster vaccination during adolescence.


Seventy-five subjects received a single dose of diphtheria and tetanus toxoids and acellular pertussis vaccine 10 years ago, during adolescence. The same cohort was followed up at 3, 5, and 10 years after this booster vaccination. Pyrosequencing was used for detecting polymorphism in TLR4. Concentrations of anti-pertussis vaccine antibodies were measured by standardized enzyme-linked immunosorbant assay and published elsewhere.


The fold increase in antibodies to pertussis toxin after original vaccination 10 years ago was significantly lower in subjects with TLR4 polymorphism than in those without (55% vs 86%; P = .028). At the 3-year follow-up evaluation, geometric mean concentrations of anti-pertussis vaccine antibodies were significantly lower in subjects with TLR4 polymorphism, compared with those without the polymorphism (for pertussis toxin, P = .028; for filamentous hemagglutinin, P = .047; and for pertactin, P = .046).


This study suggests that TLR4 Asp299Gly polymorphism might influence production and persistence of antibodies after pertussis booster vaccination in adolescents. However, the results should be interpreted with caution as the number of subjects included in this study was limited.

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