A double blind, randomized, controlled trial compared the safety and immunogenicity of an acellular pertussis vaccine formulated at Lederle using the Takeda acellular pertussis component combined with Lederle diphtheria and tetanus toxoids vaccines (APDT), with the commercially available Japanese Takeda vaccine (APDT-T/J) as a three-dose series to 2-, 4-, and 6-month-old children. Sera were analyzed for antibody to pertussis antigens: lymphocytosis-promoting factor; filamentous hemagglutinin; 69-kDa outer membrane protein; pertussis agglutinogens; neutralizing antibodies to LPF; and to diphtheria and tetanus toxoids. Information concerning local reactions and systemic events were collected daily for 10 days postimmunization. The overall reaction rate was low for both groups. There were no reactions that contraindicated subsequent vaccine and no serious adverse events. For local reactions statistically significant differences between the groups were seen only for a greater incidence of induration in the APDT group at 2 months (12% vs. 0%, P < 0.01), and at 4 months (8% vs. 0%, P = 0.4) compared to the APDT-T/J group. Of the few systemic reactions the only statistically significant difference between the vaccine groups was a greater incidence of fretfulness in the APDT group after the initial immunization (12% vs. 2%, P = 0.05). There were no statistically significant differences in the immune response between the two vaccines at the 7-month visit. We conclude that APDT is equivalent to the commercially available Takeda vaccine (APDT-T/J).