BACKGROUND: Maternal vaccination with an acellular pertussis (aP)-containing vaccine is a recommended strategy in a growing number of industrialized countries, to protect young infants from disease. Little is known on the effect of this strategy in low- and middle-income countries. Following a previous report on the effect of adding a pertussis and diphtheria component to the tetanus vaccination program in pregnant women in Vietnam, we report on infant immune responses to a booster aP vaccine dose in this randomized controlled clinical trial.
METHODS: Thirty infants of Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, and acellular pertussis)-vaccinated pregnant women and 37 infants of women vaccinated with a tetanus-only vaccine received a fourth aP-containing vaccine dose in the second year of life. Blood was taken 1 month after the fourth infant dose. Immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies against pertussis toxin (PT), filamentous hemagglutinin (FHA), pertactin (Prn), tetanus toxoid (TT), and diphtheria toxoid (DT) were measured using commercially available enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA).
RESULTS: One month after the booster dose, significantly lower antibody titers were measured in the Tdap group for anti-TT IgG (P < .001) only. Anti-DT IgG, anti-PT IgG, anti-Prn IgG, and anti-FHA IgG antibody titers were comparable for both groups. A rise in antibody concentrations was elicited for all (except DT) antigens after boosting.
CONCLUSIONS: The present results indicate that the blunting of infant pertussis responses induced by maternal immunization, measured after a primary series of aP vaccines, was resolved with the booster aP vaccine dose. These results add to the evidence for national and international decision makers on maternal immunization as a vaccination strategy for protection of young infants against infectious diseases.