Importance: Maternal immunization with tetanus toxoid, reduced diphtheria toxoid, and acellular pertussis (Tdap) vaccine could prevent infant pertussis.
Objective: To evaluate the safety and immunogenicity of Tdap immunization during pregnancy and its effect on infant responses to diphtheria and tetanus toxoids and acellular pertussis (DTaP) vaccine.
Design, setting, and participants: Phase 1-2, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, clinical trial conducted from 2008 to 2012. Forty-eight pregnant women aged 18 to 45 years received Tdap (n = 33) or placebo (n = 15) at 30 to 32 weeks' gestation, with crossover immunization postpartum.
Interventions: Tdap vaccination at 30 to 32 weeks' gestation or postpartum.
Main outcomes and measures: Primary outcomes were maternal and infant adverse events, pertussis illness, and infant growth and development until age 13 months. Secondary outcomes were antibody concentrations in pregnant women before and 4 weeks after Tdap immunization or placebo, at delivery and 2 months' postpartum, and in infants at birth, at 2 months, and after the third and fourth doses of DTaP.
Results: No Tdap-associated serious adverse events occurred in women or infants. Injection site reactions after Tdap immunization were reported in 26 (78.8% [95% CI, 61.1%-91.0%]) and 12 (80% [95% CI, 51.9%-95.7%]) pregnant and postpartum women, respectively (P > .99). Systemic symptoms were reported in 12 (36.4% [ 95% CI, 20.4%-54.9%]) and 11 (73.3% [95% CI, 44.9%-92.2%]) pregnant and postpartum women, respectively (P = .03). Growth and development were similar in both infant groups. No cases of pertussis occurred. Significantly higher concentrations of pertussis antibodies were measured at delivery in women who received Tdap during pregnancy vs postpartum (eg, pertussis toxin antibodies: 51.0 EU/mL [95% CI, 37.1-70.1] and 9.1 EU/mL [95% CI, 4.6-17.8], respectively; P < .001) and in their infants at birth (68.8 EU/mL [95% CI, 52.1-90.8] and 14.0 EU/mL [95% CI, 7.3-26.9], respectively; P < .001) and at age 2 months (20.6 EU/mL [95% CI, 14.4-29.6] and 5.3 EU/mL [95% CI, 3.0-9.4], respectively; P < .001). Antibody responses in infants born to women receiving Tdap during pregnancy were not different following the fourth dose of DTaP.
Conclusions and relevance: This preliminary assessment did not find an increased risk of adverse events among women who received Tdap vaccine during pregnancy or their infants. For secondary outcomes, maternal immunization with Tdap resulted in high concentrations of pertussis antibodies in infants during the first 2 months of life and did not substantially alter infant responses to DTaP. Further research is needed to provide definitive evidence of the safety and efficacy of Tdap immunization during pregnancy.
Trial registration: clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT00707148.