Project Details

E.W. "Al" Thrasher

Status: Funded - Open

Vaccine responses in infants after acellular pertussis vaccination during pregnancy in Thailand

Elke Leuridan, M.D., Ph.D.


BACKGROUND: Current pertussis immunization strategies fail to protect infants younger than the starting age of a primary immunization schedule. Increasing the load of maternal antibodies is the only way to offer passive temporary protection from birth. Vaccination during pregnancy is already used as a strategy in some industrialized countries to close the pertussis susceptibility gap in young infants.

GAP: High titers of maternal antibodies do not seem to interfere with infant immune responses to acelullar pertussis (aP) vaccines, yet little is known on possible interference with whole cell (wP) pertussis vaccines used in young infants.

1) Interference of high titers of maternal pertussis-specific antibodies with humoral responses in the infant could be expected after a primary series of 3 vaccines, when wP vaccines are used in contrast to when aP vaccines are used.
2) Functionality of the antibodies in infants after vaccination in the presence of maternal antibodies  may be affected by these maternal antibodies and the used vaccine.

METHODS: A randomized controlled prospective cohort study will be conducted involving 300 Thai pregnant women. They receive an aP containing vaccine during pregnancy and the offspring is vaccinated with either aP or wP vaccine and is followed up until one month after the booster dose, given at the age of 18 months.

RESULTS: Pending

IMPACT: If vaccinating pregnant women with an aP containing vaccine is successful without interference of a large amount of maternal antibodies with wP infant vaccination, recommendation of this strategy can be considered to be safe and effective in countries using wP vaccines in infants as well. If functionality of infant antibodies to pertussis is higher when different vaccines are used in mother and child, the present study will even support the use of heterologous vaccines.

Pregnancy, Pertussis, Vaccine, Human

Supervising Institution:
University of Antwerp

Project Location:
Belgium, Thailand, France

Award Amount: