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Clin Diagn Lab Immunol. 1996 Jan;3(1):93-7.

Long-term human serum antibody responses after immunization with whole-cell pertussis vaccine in France.

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Hopital d'enfants Armand-Trousseau, Paris, France.


Three hundred sixty children were tested for pertussis serology 0.5 to 1.58 months after complete whole-cell pertussis vaccination. An immunoblot assay was used to detect serum antibodies to pertussis toxin, filamentous hemagglutinin, adenylate cyclase-hemolysin, and pertactin, and agglutination was used for detection of anti-agglutinogen antibodies. Antibodies against pertussis toxin, pertactin, and agglutinogens decreased rapidly after vaccination but increased secondarily, suggesting exposure to infected persons. In contrast, anti-filamentous hemagglutinin antibodies persisted and anti-adenylate cyclase-hemolysin antibodies increased continuously, suggesting either cross-reaction with non-Bordetella antigens or exposure to Bordetella isolates expressing these two antigens, including Bordetella pertussis. These data suggest that unrecognized pertussis is common in France despite massive and sustained immunization in infants and that vaccinated children become susceptible to infection more than 6 years after their last vaccination.

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