In the present study, protection against Bordetella pertussis infection and humoral immunological responses in mice has been assessed upon immunization with custom-made acellular pertussis vaccines (ACVs) and whole-cell pertussis vaccine (WCV). Mice were immunized, next intranasally infected with B. pertussis and during 14 days the number of bacteria in the trachea and lungs and the level of serum antibodies were determined. ACV contained five immunogens, filamentous hemagglutinin, pertactin, fimbriae serotypes 2 and 3, and chemically detoxified pertussis toxin (PMC-5), or three immunogens, filamentous hemagglutinin, pertactin, and genetically detoxified (BC-3) or chemically detoxified pertussis toxin (SKB-3). Immunization with a high or low dose of ACV or WCV resulted in significant protection against B. pertussis, with differences in the degree of protection between the vaccines. The lowest protection was found with a low dose of SKB-3 and WCV. The pattern of cytokine production by spleen cells of immunized, non-infected, mice indicated that T-helper 1 cells are activated by vaccination with WCV, and T-helper 1 and T-helper 2 cells are involved in the immune response upon vaccination with ACVs. Each vaccine stimulated the production of IgG, but not IgA, antibodies. In mice immunized with ACV, elimination of B. pertussis from trachea and lungs correlated significantly with the titre of IgG1, but not IgG2a, antibodies.