Author(s): Canthaboo C, Williams L, Xing DK, Corbel MJ
New generation acellular pertussis vaccines were compared with the established whole cell pertussis vaccine for the induction of humoral and cellular immune-responses in mice. At the same time, the in vivo protective effect of these two types of vaccine was also compared in both intracerebral (ic) and aerosol challenge models. In general, whole cell vaccine induced lower antibody titres to pertussis toxin, filamentous haemagglutinin and pertactin than the acellular vaccine. Nitric oxide concentration in macrophage cultures was used as a marker for macrophage activation. The nitric oxide concentrations in the macrophage cultures from mice following immunisation with the whole cell vaccine were higher than those from mice immunised with the acellular vaccine, which indicated that the whole cell vaccine was more effective than the acellular vaccine in activating macrophages. This was associated with better protection in vivo after challenge. After ic challenge of mice following immunisation with whole cell or acellular vaccine, 90% of the whole cell vaccine group survived compared with 40% of the acellular vaccine group at the vaccine dose selected. Following aerosol challenge, mice in the whole cell vaccine group showed faster clearance of bacteria from the lungs than those in the acellular vaccine group. Our findings suggest that the different types of pertussis vaccines may achieve protection in different ways and that CMI may play an important role in eliminating bacteria which escape humoral defence mechanisms.