Protective activities in mice of monoclonal antibodies against pertussis toxin

Infect Immun. 1990 Oct;58(10):3369-74. doi: 10.1128/iai.58.10.3369-3374.1990.


Pertussis toxin (PT) protein, which is the most important protective antigen of Bordetella pertussis, has a hexameric structure composed of five subunits, designated S1 through S5. Immunoprotective activity of 20 different mouse monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) against pertussis toxin, 10 anti-S1, 1 anti-S2, 2 anti-S3, 4 anti-S23, and 3 anti-S4 antibodies, were investigated by aerosol and intracerebral challenges with virulent B. pertussis organisms in mice. Four anti-S1, named 1B7, 1D7, 3F11, and 10D6, and three anti-S23 antibodies, named 11E6, 10B5, and 10C9, showed the highest, and almost complete, protectivity against the aerosol challenge. Mouse protectivity against the intracerebral challenge was significant for these four anti-S1 MAbs but not for any of the three anti-S23 MAbs. Four anti-S1 and two anti-S4 MAbs did not protect the mice against either challenge. The other seven MAbs also showed dose-dependent moderate but significant protection against the aerosol challenge. In the aerosol challenge system, bacterial numbers and amounts of PT detected in the lung and the number of peripheral leukocytes were lower in the mice given the protective MAbs. All mice surviving 5 weeks after the infection produced high titers of antibodies against PT, filamentous hemagglutinin (FHA), and agglutinogens from the challenge organisms. A combination of the protective MAbs 1B7 and 11E6 strongly suppressed the disease and mortality of the mice at smaller amounts than with the anti-PT polyclonal antibody. Although combinations of one of the protective MAb and anti-FHA or anti-agglutinogen 2 also showed extremely high mouse protection without development of symptoms of the disease, antibody titers of the survivors against PT, FHA, and agglutinogens were significantly low. The foregoing results suggest that some important protective epitopes should be in S1 and S2 and/or S3, although there are both differences and similarities in the protective roles between anti-S1 and anti-S23 antibodies and also in the pathogenic mechanisms between aerosol and intracerebral infections. Furthermore, it was suggested that although not only FHA and agglutinogen 2 but also PT have roles as attachment factors, the processes of infection and protection are different between mice immunized with antibody against FHA or agglutinogen 2 and that against PT because the latter mice are also able to neutralize toxicity of PT diffused into the mice.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Agglutinins / immunology
  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Bacterial / administration & dosage*
  • Antibodies, Bacterial / immunology
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / administration & dosage*
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / immunology
  • Bordetella pertussis / growth & development
  • Bordetella pertussis / immunology
  • Epitopes / immunology
  • Hemagglutinins / immunology
  • Immunization, Passive
  • Leukocyte Count
  • Lung / microbiology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Pertussis Toxin*
  • Pertussis Vaccine / immunology
  • Virulence Factors, Bordetella / immunology*
  • Whooping Cough / mortality
  • Whooping Cough / prevention & control*


  • Agglutinins
  • Antibodies, Bacterial
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Epitopes
  • Hemagglutinins
  • Pertussis Vaccine
  • Virulence Factors, Bordetella
  • Pertussis Toxin