Serologic response and antibody-titer decay in adults with pertussis

Clin Infect Dis. 2004 Feb 15;38(4):591-4. doi: 10.1086/381439. Epub 2004 Jan 29.


Pertussis is a frequent and significant illness in adults. Because acellular pertussis vaccines for use in adolescents and adults have now been developed, it is important to compare serologic responses in adults after infection with serologic responses in adults after vaccination. We measured IgG and IgA antibodies to 4 Bordetella pertussis antigens at approximately 6-month intervals for 28 months in 11 adults with pertussis. After reaching peak levels, titers of antibody to pertussis toxin decreased more than did titers of antibodies to filamentous hemagglutinin, pertactin, and fimbriae type 1 and type 2. Although studies of adults who have been vaccinated with acellular pertussis vaccines have had shorter follow-up periods than studies of adults with pertussis infection, the antibody decay patterns are similar in both groups.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Antibodies, Bacterial / immunology*
  • Antigens, Bacterial / immunology
  • Bordetella Infections / immunology*
  • Bordetella Infections / prevention & control
  • Bordetella pertussis / immunology
  • Humans
  • Pertussis Vaccine / immunology*
  • Serologic Tests
  • Whooping Cough / immunology*
  • Whooping Cough / prevention & control


  • Antibodies, Bacterial
  • Antigens, Bacterial
  • Pertussis Vaccine