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J Infect Dis. 1997 May;175(5):1246-50.

Bordetella pertussis respiratory infection in children is associated with preferential activation of type 1 T helper cells.

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Department of Biology, Maynooth University, Ireland.


The mechanism of protective immunity against Bordetella pertussis generated following recovery from whooping cough in childhood has not yet been elucidated. Studies with a murine respiratory infection model have indicated that cellular immunity, mediated by Th1 cells, plays a role in the clearance of a primary infection with B. pertussis and in protection against subsequent challenge. In the present study, the induction of B. pertussis-specific Th cell subsets in children was examined. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells from B. pertussis-infected or convalescent children proliferated and secreted cytokines following antigen stimulation in vitro. In contrast, responses were weak or undetectable in the majority of children who had not been infected or vaccinated. In all cases, responding T cells produced interferon-gamma but low or undetectable interleukin-5. The findings suggest that Th1 cells may play a role in protective immunity generated following infection with B. pertussis in children.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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