Cell-mediated immune response of healthy adults to Bordetella pertussis vaccine antigens

Clara M. Ausiello, Roberto Lande, Andrea La Sala, Francesca Urbani, Antonio Cassone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cell-mediated immunity (CMI) to Bordetella pertussis and acellular pertussis vaccine constituents (pertussis toxin, pertactin, and filamentous hemagglutinin) were studied in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) and T cell cultures from healthy adults with no record of vaccination against, or history of, pertussis. Similarly to stimulation with common recall antigens, PBMC proliferation was induced in 80%- 100% of the cultures, depending on the specific B. pertussis stimulant. Proliferation did not occur when antigen- presenting cells were ablated by chemical or physical methods or with naive cord blood lymphocytes. B. pertussis antigen stimulation resulted in a preferential induction of type 1 cytokine profile, as shown by interferon-γ and interleukin-2 (but no interleukin-4 or interleukin-5) gene transcripts and actual cytokine production by T cells. The data suggest that most healthy adults are repeatedly exposed to B. pertussis, with natural acquisition of antigen-specific CMI and a putatively protective type 1 cytokine pattern.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)466-470
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Immunology


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