The agglutinin response to whole-cell and acellular pertussis vaccines is Bordetella pertussis-strain dependent

Dean A Blumberg, E. Pineda, J. D. Cherry, A. Caruso, J. V. Scott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Objective. - To determine the significance of the Bordetella pertussis strain used as the antigen in the agglutinin assay for the evaluation of pertussis vaccines. Design. - Randomized, double-blind study. Setting. - Health maintenance organization clinics, primary care clinic at a referral hospital, and private practices in Los Angeles County, California. Participants. - Forty healthy infants. Selection Procedures. - Convenience sample. Interventions. - Twenty infants received whole-cell pertussis- component diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine (DTP), and 70 infants received acellular pertussis-component diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine (APDT) at ages 2, 4, and 6 months. Measurements. - The agglutinin assay was performed using three separate B pertussis strain preparations: (1) strains 130 and 138 in equal quantities, the constituents of the DTP vaccine, (2) strain 460, and (3) strain Tohama, the constituent of the APDT vaccine. Results. - The agglutinin titers were highly strain dependent; in both groups of vaccinees at both ages the Tohama values were highest, followed by strain 460 and then strains 130/138. The vaccine groups had comparable titers at age 2 months regardless of the assay antigen used. However, at age 7 months, after three immunizations, the DTP group geometric mean titer was more than 10 times greater than that of the APDT group using strains 130/138, but only 2.6 times higher using strain 460 and almost equivalent using Tohama strain. Conclusion. - Vaccine group agglutinin value comparisons strongly depend on assay antigens used.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1148-1150
Number of pages3
JournalAmerican Journal of Diseases of Children
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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