Background: Immunization of pregnant women with tetanus-diphtheria-acellular pertussis vaccine (Tdap) provides protection against pertussis to the newborn infant.
Methods: In a randomized, controlled, observer-blind, multicenter clinical trial, we measured the safety and immunogenicity of Tdap during pregnancy and the effect on the infant's immune response to primary vaccination at 2, 4, and 6 months and booster vaccination at 12 months of age. A total of 273 women received either Tdap or tetanus-diphtheria (Td) vaccine in the third trimester and provided information for the safety analysis and samples for the immunogenicity analyses; 261 infants provided serum for the immunogenicity analyses.
Results: Rates of adverse events were similar in both groups. Infants of Tdap recipients had cord blood levels that were 21% higher than maternal levels for pertussis toxoid (PT), 13% higher for filamentous hemagglutinin (FHA), 4% higher for pertactin (PRN), and 7% higher for fimbriae (FIM). These infants had significantly higher PT antibody levels at birth and at 2 months and significantly higher FHA, PRN, and FIM antibodies at birth and 2 and 4 months, but significantly lower PT and FHA antibody levels at 6 and 7 months and significantly lower PRN and FIM antibody levels at 7 months than infants whose mothers received Td. Differences persisted prebooster at 12 months for all antigens and postbooster 1 month later for PT, FHA, and FIM.
Conclusions: This study demonstrated that Tdap during pregnancy results in higher levels of antibodies early in infancy but lower levels after the primary vaccine series.
Clinical trials registration: NCT00553228.