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Vaccine. 1998 Apr;16(7):672-7.

Relationship between structure and neutralizing activity of rabbit tetanus antibodies elicited by acellular and whole-cell pertussis DTP vaccines.

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Studies on Humoral Immunity, National Research Council (CONICET), Faculty of Pharmacy and Biochemistry, University of Buenos Aires, Argentina.


Symmetric and asymmetric IgGs having different neutralizing capacity are synthesized in variable proportions by the same clones during the course of immune response. The neutralizing activity of tetanus antibodies was studied in rabbits vaccinated with acellular (DTPa) or whole-cell pertussis (DTPw) vaccines. Symmetric and asymmetric F(ab)'2 fragments from the IgG fraction of the peak serum pools from each group of rabbits were purified by concanavalin A chromatography and measured by ELISA. After the third vaccine dose the asymmetric antibody percentage for DTPw (40%) was twice that for DTPa (20%). The neutralizing activity of asymmetric antibodies was roughly sixfold lower than symmetric ones. When antibody values titrated by ELISA approach minimal protective level, the proportion of symmetric antibodies with high toxin neutralizing activity acquires crucial importance.

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