Combined tetanus-diphtheria and pertussis vaccine during pregnancy: Transfer of maternal pertussis antibodies to the newborn

Alba Vilajeliu, Anna Goncé, Marta López, Josep Costa, Laura Rocamora, José Ríos, Irene Teixidó, José M. Bayas, Maribel Avilés, Ángela Arranz, Jordi Bellart, Teresa Bombí, Elena Casals, Lola Castellví, M. Teresa Cobo, Laia Ferrer, Francesc Figueras, Luis Augusto Garcete, Laura García Otero, Olga GómezEsther Raquel González, Elisabeth González, Ana Sandra Hernández, Antònia Lanna, Mònica Martínez, Imma Mercadé, Federico Migliorelli, Raquel Mula, Miriam Mũnoz, Jordina Munrós, Montse Palacio, Anna Peguero, Anna Pericot, Juan Carlos Ramírez, Mariona Rius, Roser Solernou, Iris Soveral, Ximena Torres

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52 Citations (Scopus)


© 2015 Elsevier Ltd. Background and objectives: Pertussis is currently an emerging public health concern in some countries with high vaccination coverage. It is expected that maternal pertussis immunization could provide newborn protection. We compared pertussis toxin antibody (anti-PT) levels in women during pregnancy (pre- and post-vaccination) with respect to levels in the newborn at delivery in women vaccinated during pregnancy. We also estimated anti-PT titers at primary infant vaccination. Methods: Observational study of pregnant women vaccinated with Tdap (≥20 weeks gestation) and their newborns between May 2012 and August 2013. Anti-PT levels were determined by ELISA in maternal (pre- and post-vaccination) and newborn blood. Results: Pre-vaccination, post-vaccination maternal and newborn samples were available in 132 subjects. Mean maternal age was 34.2 (SD 4.3) years. Median weeks of gestation at vaccination were 27.2 (Q1-Q3 21.7-30.8). Anti-PT (≥10. IU/ml) levels were found in 37.1% of maternal pre-vaccination samples (geometric mean titer (GMT) 7.9. IU/ml (95% CI 6.8-9.2)), 90.2% of post-vaccination samples (GMT 31.1. IU/ml (95% CI 26.6-36.3)) and 94.7% of newborns (GMT 37.8. IU/ml (95% CI 32.3-44.1)). The Lin concordance index between post-vaccination maternal and newborn samples was 0.8 (95% CI 0.8-0.9). Transplacental transfer ratio was 146.6%. At two months of age, 66% of newborns had estimated anti-PT levels ≥10. IU/ml. Conclusions: There was a high correlation between anti-PT levels in mothers and newborns, with higher levels in newborns, which should be sufficient to provide protection against pertussis during the first months of life. Vaccination of pregnant women seems to be an immunogenic strategy to protect newborns until primary infant immunization.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1056-1062
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015


  • Antibody transfer
  • Neonatal pertussis
  • Pregnancy
  • Vaccination


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