Acellular and whole-cell pertussis vaccines as booster doses: A multicenter study

J. A. Englund, M. D. Decker, K. M. Edwards, M. E. Pichichero, M. C. Steinhoff, E. L. Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


Objective. To compare the safety and immunogenicity of a variety of acellular (AC) and whole-cell (WC) pertussis vaccines combined with diphtheria and tetanus toxoids. Methods. Standard enrollment and reaction forms were used at five sites, and serologic evaluation was performed at a single site. Nine AC (Massachusetts Public Health Laboratories, Biocine Sclavo recombinant pertussis toxoid [PT], Connaught/BIKEN, Lederle three- component, Biocine Sclavo recombinant three-component, SmithKline Beecham three-component, Porton three-component, Takeda-Wyeth, and Connaught multicomponent), and three WC (Connaught Laboratories, Lederle Laboratories, and Massachusetts Public Health Laboratories) were studied. All AC contained varying concentrations of PT; some vaccines also contained filamentous hemagglutinin (FHA), pertactin, and/or agglutinogens. Results. Two hundred forty children, aged 16 to 21 months and 4 to 6 years, were enrolled at five sites. Significantly less fever, redness, swelling, pain, limp, and use of pain medication were noted following AC compared with WC. Significant increases in antibody to PT were seen following all vaccines. Significant rises in FHA antibody were seen following all WC and the seven AC that contained FHA. Postbooster PT antibody levels were similar among the AC groups, regardless of the amount of PT administered (between 3.5 and 25 μg per dose). The dose of FHA did not affect PT antibody response. Infants primed with WC who were boosted with a monocomponent PT vaccine did not manifest a significant antibody response to FHA. Conclusion. The rate of adverse reactions was not a function of the number of antigens or the antigen quantity in the acellular vaccines, and antibody responses following AC were similar or better than antibody responses following WC. These results support the further evaluation of these vaccines in a larger National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases-sponsored study in infants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)37-43
Number of pages7
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1994


  • acellular pertussis vaccine
  • booster
  • filamentous hemagglutinin
  • immunization
  • pertussis toxoid
  • pertussis vaccine
  • whole-cell pertussis vaccine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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