Serum antibody response to filamentous hemagglutinin in patients with clinical pertussis measured by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay

Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis. 1988 Dec;7(6):764-70. doi: 10.1007/BF01975044.


Titers of antibodies to filamentous hemagglutinin (FHA) were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay in acute and convalescent phase serum samples from 158 patients with clinical symptoms typical of whooping-cough. In 96 of the patients the diagnosis was verified by culture. Significant changes in serum levels of IgG, IgM and/or IgA antibodies against FHA were demonstrated in 126 patients (80%). Thus, demonstration of significant changes in FHA antibody titers in serum can be used for serological diagnosis of pertussis. The results also show that high levels of IgG, IgM and/or IgA antibodies in a single serum sample suggest current pertussis infection, but if the diagnosis is based on determinations of FHA antibody titers in a single serum sample the sensitivity is low. The levels of antibody to FHA were compared with previously determined levels of antibodies to pertussis toxin. A significant antibody response against both FHA and pertussis toxin was seen in 111 patients (70%) while 147 patients (93%) developed a significant increase in antibodies against one or both antigens.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Antibodies, Bacterial / analysis*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Hemagglutinins / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulins / analysis
  • Infant
  • Pertussis Toxin
  • Virulence Factors, Bordetella / immunology
  • Whooping Cough / immunology*


  • Antibodies, Bacterial
  • Hemagglutinins
  • Immunoglobulins
  • Virulence Factors, Bordetella
  • Pertussis Toxin