Epidemiology and Infection

Age-specific long-term course of IgG antibodies to pertussis toxin after symptomatic infection with Bordetella pertussis

F. G. A. VERSTEEGH a1c1, P. L. J. M. MERTENS a2, H. E. DE MELKER a3, J. J. ROORD a4, J. F. P. SCHELLEKENS a3 and P. F. M. TEUNIS a3
a1 Department of Pediatrics, Groene Hart Hospital, Gouda, The Netherlands
a2 Municipal Health Department, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
a3 National Institute of Public Health and the Environment, Diagnostic Laboratory of Infectious Diseases and Perinatal Screening, Bilthoven, The Netherlands
a4 Department of Pediatrics, Free University Medical Centre, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Article author query
versteegh fg   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
mertens pl   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
de melker he   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
roord jj   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
schellekens jf   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
teunis pf   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 


To investigate the possible dependence on age of the rate of decline of IgG antibodies to pertussis toxin (IgG-PT) after natural infection with Bordetella pertussis we measured IgG-PT in follow-up sera of 121 patients (age 0–94 years) obtained after 123 episodes of B. pertussis infection. For analysis we applied a dynamic model for the inactivation of B. pertussis by the immune system. There were no significant differences in rise, peak and decline of IgG-PT between different age groups, although there was a tendency for a more rapid increase, a higher peak and a faster decline with increasing age. The IgG-PT cut-off of 100 U/ml for serodiagnosis of pertussis appeared valid in all age groups. A decline of IgG-PT to <10 U/ml was associated with increased risk of re-infection with B. pertussis.

(Accepted December 22 2004)

c1 Groene Hart Hospital, Department of Pediatrics, PO Box 1098, 2800 BB Gouda, The Netherlands. (Email: florens.versteegh@ghz.nl)