Comparisons of the effect of naturally acquired maternal pertussis antibodies and antenatal vaccination induced maternal tetanus antibodies on infant's antibody secreting lymphocyte responses and circulating plasma antibody levels

Shaikh Meshbahuddin Ahmad, Jahangir Alam, Nure Alam Afsar, Nazmul Huda, Yearul Kabir, Firdausi Qadri, Rubhana Raqib, Charles B. Stephensen

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The goal of this study was to explore the effects of trans-placental tetanus toxoid (TT) and pertussis (PT) antibodies on an infant's response to vaccination in the context of antenatal immunization with tetanus but not with pertussis. 38 mothers received a single dose of TT vaccine during pregnancy. Infants received tetanus and pertussis vaccines at 6, 10 and 14 wk of age. TT and PT anti-IgG secretion by infant lymphocytes was measured at 15 wk. Plasma antibodies were measured at 6 wk (pre-vaccination), 15 wk and 1 y of age. Prior to vaccination, TT and PT antibody were detected in 94.6% and 15.2% of infants. At 15 wk anti-TT-IgG and anti-PT-IgG in plasma was increased by 7–9 fold over pre-vaccination levels, while at 1 y plasma anti-TT-IgG was decreased by approximately 5-fold from the peak and had returned to near the pre-vaccination level. At 1 y plasma anti-PT-IgG was decreased by 2-fold 1 yfrom the 15 wk level. However, 89.5% and 82.3% of infants at 1 y had protective levels of anti-TT and anti-PT IgG, respectively. Pre-vaccination plasma IgG levels were associated with lower vaccine-specific IgG secretion by infant lymphocytes at 15 wk (p < 0.10). This apparent inhibition was seen for anti-TT-IgG at both 15 wk (p < 0.05) and t 1 y (p < 0.10) of age. In summary, we report an apparent inhibitory effect of passively derived maternal antibody on an infants' own antibody response to the same vaccine. However, since the cut-off values for protective titers are low, infants had protective antibody levels throughout infancy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)886-893
Number of pages8
JournalHuman Vaccines and Immunotherapeutics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2 2016
Externally publishedYes



  • neonate
  • pertussis
  • plasma cell
  • tetanus; trans-placental antibody

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Pharmacology

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