Pertussis circulation has increased T-cell immunity during childhood more than a second acellular booster vaccination in Dutch children 9 years of age.

Here we report the first evaluation of T-cell responses upon a second acellular pertussis booster vaccination in Dutch children at 9 years of age, 5 years after a preschool booster vaccination. Blood samples of children 9 years of age were studied longitudinally until 1 year after the second aP booster and compared with those after the first aP booster in children 4 and 6 years of age from a cross-sectional study. After stimulation with pertussis-vaccine antigens, Th1, Th2 and Th17 cytokine responses were measured and effector memory cells (CCR7-CD45RA-) were characterized by 8-colour FACS analysis. The second aP booster vaccination at pre-adolescent age in wP primed individuals did increase pertussis-specific Th1 and Th2 cytokine responses. Noticeably, almost all T-cell responses had increased with age and were already high before the booster vaccination at 9 years of age. The enhancement of T-cell immunity during the 5 year following the booster at 4 years of age is probably caused by natural boosting due to the a high circulation of pertussis. However, the incidence of pertussis is high in adolescents and adults who have only received the Dutch wP vaccine during infancy and no booster at 4 years of age. Therefore, an aP booster vaccination at adolescence or later in these populations might improve long-term immunity against pertussis and reduce the transmission to the vulnerable newborns.

Authors:Schure RM1, de Rond L, Oztürk K, Hendrikx L, Sanders E, Berbers G, Buisman AM.
Journal:PLoS One. 2015