Between 1998 and 2009, Bordetella pertussis clinical isolates were collected during three periods, i.e., 1998 to 2001 (n = 102), 2004 to 2005 (n = 154), and 2007 to 2009 (n = 140), from nine countries with distinct vaccination programs, i.e., Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) analysis was performed according to standardized recommendations for epidemiological typing of B. pertussis. There were 81 different PFGE profiles, five of which (BpSR3, BpSR5, BpSR10, BpSR11, and BpSR12) were observed in 61% of the 396 isolates and shown to be predominant in almost all countries. The major profile, BpSR11, showed a decreasing trend from 25% to 30% in 1998 to 2005 to 13% in 2007 to 2009, and there were increases in BpSR3 and BpSR10 from 0% and 8% to 21% and 22%, respectively. One difference between these profiles is that BpSR11 contains isolates harboring the fim3-2 allele and BpSR3 and BpSR10 contain isolates harboring the fim3-1 allele. The total proportion of the five predominant profiles increased from 44% in 1998 to 2001 to 63% in 2004 to 2005 to 70% in 2007 to 2009. In conclusion, common PFGE profiles were identified in B. pertussis populations circulating in European countries with different vaccination programs and different vaccine coverages. These prevalent isolates contain the novel pertussis toxin promoter ptxP3 allele. However, there is evidence for diversifying selection between ptxP3 strains characterized by distinct PFGE profiles. This work shows that, even within a relatively short time span of 10 years, successful isolates which spread through Europe and cause large shifts in B. pertussis populations may emerge.
Pertussis is a reported vaccine-preventable respiratory disease in China. Because the routine laboratory methods for diagnosis are not in use, the reported cases are mainly in infants with classical paroxysmal cough and the true incidence related to pertussis is most likely under estimated. In China, however, few studies have attempted to address this issue. The purpose of this cross sectional study was to estimate the incidence rates using the method of sero-epidemiology of immunoglobulin (Ig) G antibodies against pertussis toxin (PT) among healthy populations in China.
Blood samples were obtained from 1313 healthy individuals aged 0 to 95 years in Guangdong province of China throughout September 2010. Serum IgG antibodies against PT were determined by commercial ELISA kits. Subjects with concentration of anti-PT IgG higher than 30 IU/mL were indicated to have recent Bordetella pertussis infection, if they have not received a booster dose of pertussis vaccine within one year.
Of the 1313 study subjects, 117 (8.91%) were found to have anti-PT antibodies higher than 30 IU/mL. The estimated incidence of recent infection was thus 9395 per 100,000 for individuals older than 7 years. Peaks of the estimated incidence rate of recent infection were found to be 11561 per 100,000 in age group of 41–50 years and 11428 per 100,000 in the group aged 13–19 years.
Our study indicated that B.pertussis infections are considerablely common, particularly in adolescents and adults in China. The study also stresses the importance of laboratory diagnosis for pertussis and employment of booster dose of pertussis vaccine in adolescents and adults in this country.
Pertussis; Cross-sectional study; Sero-epidemiology; Anti-PT IgG; China
Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis PT4 KS8822/88 replicates rapidly in HLA-B27-transfected human monocytic U937 cells. In this process, Salmonella pathogenicity island 2 (SPI-2) genes play a crucial role. Our previous study indicated that 118 Salmonella genes, including 8 SPI-2 genes were affected by HLA-B27 antigen during Salmonella infection of U937 cells.
To further investigate Salmonella replication in HLA-B27-positive U937 monocytic cells, two SPI-2 genes, ssaS and sscA up-regulated most during Salmonella infection of HLA-B27-transfected U937 cells, were mutated by using one-step gene disruption method. Intracellular survival and replication of the mutants in the U937 cells was compared to that of the wild type strain. Surprisingly, the two mutated strains replicated significantly more than the wild type bacteria in HLA-B27-transfected cells. Secretion of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) and interleukin 10 (IL-10) was significantly induced during the infection of HLA-B27-transfected U937 cells with the mutants. The results indicated that the certain SPI-2 genes in wild type bacteria suppress Salmonella intracellular growth and production of cytokines in infected HLA-B27-transfected cells. HLA-B27-associated modulation of Salmonella SPI-2 genes and cytokine production may have importance in the persistent infection of the bacteria and the pathogenesis of reactive arthritis.
The study provides evidence that certain virulence factors of pathogens can reduce the intracellular growth in the host cells. We suggest that the limiting intracellular growth might be a strategy for persistence of bacteria in host cells, keeping a balance between pathogenic growth and pathogenesis.
Human nasopharynx is often colonized by potentially pathogenic bacteria. Gene polymorphisms in mannose-binding lectin (MBL), toll-like receptor (TLR) 2 and TLR4 have been reported. The present study aimed to investigate possible association between nasopharyngeal bacterial colonization and gene polymorphisms of MBL, TLR2 and TLR4 in healthy infants.
From August 2008 to June 2010, 489 nasopharyngeal swabs and 412 blood samples were taken from 3-month-old healthy Finnish infants. Semi-quantitative culture was performed and pyrosequencing was used for detection of polymorphisms in MBL structural gene at codons 52, 54, and 57, TLR2 Arg753Gln and TLR4 Asp299Gly. Fifty-nine percent of subjects were culture positive for at least one of the four species: 11% for Streptococcus pneumoniae, 23% for Moraxella catarrhalis, 1% for Haemophilus influenzae and 25% for Staphylococcus aureus. Thirty-two percent of subjects had variant types in MBL, 5% had polymorphism of TLR2, and 18% had polymorphism of TLR4. Colonization rates of S. pneumoniae and S. aureus were significantly higher in infants with variant types of MBL than those with wild type (p = .011 and p = .024). Colonization rates of S. aureus and M. catarrhalis were significantly higher in infants with polymorphisms of TLR2 and of TLR4 than those without (p = .027 and p = .002).
Our study suggests that there is an association between nasopharyngeal bacterial colonization and genetic variation of MBL, TLR2 and TLR4 in young infants. This finding supports a role for these genetic variations in susceptibility of children to respiratory infections.
To monitor changes in Bordetella pertussis populations, mainly two typing methods are used; Pulsed-Field Gel Electrophoresis (PFGE) and Multiple-Locus Variable-Number Tandem Repeat Analysis (MLVA). In this study, a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) typing method, based on 87 SNPs, was developed and compared with PFGE and MLVA. The discriminatory indices of SNP typing, PFGE and MLVA were found to be 0.85, 0.95 and 0.83, respectively. Phylogenetic analysis, using SNP typing as Gold Standard, revealed false homoplasies in the PFGE and MLVA trees. Further, in contrast to the SNP-based tree, the PFGE- and MLVA-based trees did not reveal a positive correlation between root-to-tip distance and the isolation year of strains. Thus PFGE and MLVA do not allow an estimation of the relative age of the selected strains. In conclusion, SNP typing was found to be phylogenetically more informative than PFGE and more discriminative than MLVA. Further, in contrast to PFGE, it is readily standardized allowing interlaboratory comparisons. We applied SNP typing to study strains with a novel allele for the pertussis toxin promoter, ptxP3, which have a worldwide distribution and which have replaced the resident ptxP1 strains in the last 20 years. Previously, we showed that ptxP3 strains showed increased pertussis toxin expression and that their emergence was associated with increased notification in the Netherlands. SNP typing showed that the ptxP3 strains isolated in the Americas, Asia, Australia and Europe formed a monophyletic branch which recently diverged from ptxP1 strains. Two predominant ptxP3 SNP types were identified which spread worldwide. The widespread use of SNP typing will enhance our understanding of the evolution and global epidemiology of B. pertussis.
Strains in China may differ from those in countries that have long histories of high vaccination coverage.
Whole-cell pertussis vaccine was introduced in China in the early 1960s. We used standard typing methods to compare 96 Bordetella pertussis isolates collected before and after introduction of vaccination, during 1953–2005. The following vaccine-type alleles of the pertussis toxin (ptx) gene were characteristic for all prevaccination strains: ptxA2, ptxA3, and ptxA4. The shift to ptxA1 occurred since 1963. All isolates collected since 1983 contained ptxA1. Pertactin (prn) allele 1, prn1, was predominant, although prn2 and prn3 have been detected since 2000. Serotypes fimbriae (Fim) 2 and Fim2,3 were found in all isolates collected before 1986. During 1997–2005, Fim3 became prevalent. Although changes in electrophoresis profiles over time were observed, the predominant profiles during 1997–2005 resembled those during the prevaccine era and those found in Europe before the 1990s. B. pertussis strains in China may differ from those in countries that have a long history of high vaccine coverage.
China; Bordetella pertussis; whooping cough; pertussis; incidence; vaccination; genotyping; PFGE; bacteria; research
Human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-B27 is strongly associated with the development of reactive arthritis (ReA) in humans after salmonellosis. Human monocytic U937 cells transfected with HLA-B27 are less able to eliminate intracellular Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis than those transfected with control HLA antigens (e.g. HLA-A2). To investigate further the mechanisms by which HLA-B27-transfected cells allow increased replication of these bacteria, a DNA-based microarray was used for comparative genomic analysis of S. Enteritidis grown in HLA-B27- or HLA-A2-transfected cells. The microarray consisted of 5080 oligonucleotides from different serovars of Salmonella including S. Enteritidis PT4-specific genes. Bacterial RNA was isolated from the infected HLA-B27- or HLA-A2-transfected cells, reverse-transcribed to cDNA, and hybridized with the oligonucleotides on the microarrays. Some microarray results were confirmed by RT-PCR.
When gene expression was compared between Salmonella grown in HLA-B27 cells and in HLA-A2 cells, 118 of the 4610 S. Enteritidis-related genes differed in expression at 8 h after infection, but no significant difference was detectable at 2 h after infection. These differentially expressed genes are mainly involved in Salmonella virulence, DNA replication, energy conversion and metabolism, and uptake and metabolism of nutrient substances, etc. The difference suggests HLA-B27-dependent modulation of Salmonella gene expression, resulting in increased Salmonella replication in HLA-B27-positive cells. Among the up-regulated genes were those located in Salmonella pathogenicity island (SPI)-2, which play a central role in intracellular survival and replication of Salmonella.
This is the first report to show the regulation of Salmonella gene expression by HLA-B27 during infection of host cells. This regulation probably leads to increased Salmonella survival and replication in HLA-B27-positive cells. SPI-2 genes seem to contribute significantly to the increased replication.
A more virulent strain of the disease is emerging.
Before childhood vaccination was introduced in the 1940s, pertussis was a major cause of infant death worldwide. Widespread vaccination of children succeeded in reducing illness and death. In the 1990s, a resurgence of pertussis was observed in a number of countries with highly vaccinated populations, and pertussis has become the most prevalent vaccine-preventable disease in industrialized countries. We present evidence that in the Netherlands the dramatic increase in pertussis is temporally associated with the emergence of Bordetella pertussis strains carrying a novel allele for the pertussis toxin promoter, which confers increased pertussis toxin (Ptx) production. Epidemiologic data suggest that these strains are more virulent in humans. We discuss changes in the ecology of B. pertussis that may have driven this adaptation. Our results underline the importance of Ptx in transmission, suggest that vaccination may select for increased virulence, and indicate ways to control pertussis more effectively.
Gram-negative bacterial infections; bacteria; respiratory tract infections; pertussis; whooping cough; pertussis; resurgence; vaccination; the Netherlands; research
Bordetella pertussis causes whooping cough or pertussis in humans. It produces several virulence factors, of which the fimbriae are considered adhesins and elicit immune responses in the host. B. pertussis has three distinct serotypes Fim2, Fim3 or Fim2,3. Generally, B. pertussis Fim2 strains predominate in unvaccinated populations, whereas Fim3 strains are often isolated in vaccinated populations. In Finland, pertussis vaccination was introduced in 1952. The whole-cell vaccine contained two strains, 18530 (Fim3) since 1962 and strain 1772 (Fim2,3) added in 1976. After that the vaccine has remained the same until 2005 when the whole-cell vaccine was replaced by the acellular vaccine containing pertussis toxin and filamentous hemagglutinin. Our aims were to study serotypes of Finnish B. pertussis isolates from 1974 to 2006 in a population with > 90% vaccination coverage and fimbrial expression of the isolates during infection. Serotyping was done by agglutination and serotype-specific antibody responses were determined by blocking ELISA.
Altogether, 1,109 isolates were serotyped. Before 1976, serotype distributions of Fim2, Fim3 and Fim2,3 were 67%, 19% and 10%, respectively. From 1976 to 1998, 94% of the isolates were Fim2 serotype. Since 1999, the frequency of Fim3 strains started to increase and reached 83% during a nationwide epidemic in 2003. A significant increase in level of serum IgG antibodies against purified fimbriae was observed between paired sera of 37 patients. The patients infected by Fim3 strains had antibodies which blocked the binding of monoclonal antibodies to Fim3 but not to Fim2. Moreover, about one third of the Fim2 strain infected patients developed antibodies capable of blocking of binding of both anti-Fim2 and Fim3 monoclonal antibodies.
Despite extensive vaccinations in Finland, B. pertussis Fim2 strains were the most common serotype. Emergence of Fim3 strains started in 1999 and coincided with nationwide epidemics. Results of serotype-specific antibody responses suggest that Fim2 strains could express Fim3 during infection, showing a difference in fimbrial expression between in vivo and in vitro.
Whooping cough caused by Bordetella pertussis in humans, is re-emerging in many countries despite vaccination. Several studies have shown that significant shifts have occurred in the B. pertussis population resulting in antigenic divergence between vaccine strains and circulating strains and suggesting pathogen adaptation. In the Netherlands, the resurgence of pertussis is associated with the rise of B. pertussis strains with an altered promoter region for pertussis toxin (ptxP3).
We used Multi-Locus Sequence Typing (MLST), Multiple-Locus Variable Number of Tandem Repeat Analysis (MLVA) and microarray-based comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) to characterize the ptxP3 strains associated with the Dutch epidemic. For CGH analysis, we developed an oligonucleotide (70-mers) microarray consisting of 3,581 oligonucleotides representing 94% of the gene repertoire of the B. pertussis strain Tohama I. Nine different MLST profiles and 38 different MLVA types were found in the period 1993 to 2004. Forty-three Dutch clinical isolates were analyzed with CGH, 98 genes were found to be absent in at least one of the B. pertussis strains tested, these genes were clustered in 8 distinct regions of difference.
The presented MLST, MLVA and CGH-analysis identified distinctive characteristics of ptxP3 B. pertussis strains -the most prominent of which was a genomic deletion removing about 23,000 bp. We propose a model for the emergence of ptxP3 strains.
Clinical isolates of Bordetella pertussis collected during the year 2004 (n = 153) in eight European countries, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, and United Kingdom, were analyzed by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), and their PFGE profiles were compared with those of isolates collected in 1999 (n = 102). The 255 isolates produced 59 distinct PFGE profiles. Among the 153 isolates from 2004, 36 profiles were found, while within the 102 isolates from 1999, 33 profiles were detected. One PFGE profile, BpSR11, was dominant (30% to 50%) in all countries except Denmark (10%) and Poland (0%). In comparison with 1999, there was an increase in BpSR11 prevalence in Finland in 2004 from 5% to 40%, coinciding with a major incidence peak. Some other PFGE profiles seemed to be associated with limited dissemination. Poland was the only country in which the most common actual European PFGE profiles were not found. In a dendrogram analysis, all common PFGE profiles were identified within PFGE group IV, and BpSR11 clustered together with PFGE subgroup IVβ. Compared to the 1999 isolates, PFGE group V representative for pertactin variant prn3 strains had disappeared, and a new cluster was seen. In conclusion, some PFGE profiles, such as BpSR11, evidently have a higher capacity to spread, suggesting increased fitness to the present immunological environment. It is therefore of major interest to continue with surveillance programs of B. pertussis isolates, as both waning vaccine-derived immunity and strain variation may play a role in the persistence of pertussis.
Bordetella pertussis is a Gram-negative bacterium that infects the human respiratory tract and causes pertussis or whooping cough. The disease has resurged in many countries including Finland where the whole-cell pertussis vaccine has been used for more than 50 years. Antigenic divergence has been observed between vaccine strains and clinical isolates in Finland. To better understand genome evolution in B. pertussis circulating in the immunized population, we developed an oligonucleotide-based microarray for comparative genomic analysis of Finnish strains isolated during the period of 50 years.
The microarray consisted of 3,582 oligonucleotides (70-mer) and covered 94% of 3,816 ORFs of Tohama I, the strain of which the genome has been sequenced . Twenty isolates from 1953 to 2004 were studied together with two Finnish vaccine strains and two international reference strains. The isolates were selected according to their characteristics, e.g. the year and place of isolation and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis profiles. Genomic DNA of the tested strains, along with reference DNA of Tohama I strain, was labelled and hybridized. The absence of genes as established with microarrays, was confirmed by PCR. Compared with the Tohama I strain, Finnish isolates lost 7 (8.6 kb) to 49 (55.3 kb) genes, clustered in one to four distinct loci. The number of lost genes increased with time, and one third of lost genes had functions related to inorganic ion transport and metabolism, or energy production and conversion. All four loci of lost genes were flanked by the insertion sequence element IS481.
Our results showed that the progressive gene loss occurred in Finnish B. pertussis strains isolated during a period of 50 years and confirmed that B. pertussis is dynamic and is continuously evolving, suggesting that the bacterium may use gene loss as one strategy to adapt to highly immunized populations.
We used pulsed-field gel electrophoresis analysis and genotyping to compare clinical isolates of Bordetella pertussis recovered since the early 1990s in Finland and France, 2 countries with similar histories of long-term mass vaccination with whole-cell pertussis vaccines. Isolates from both countries were similar genetically but varied temporally.
Bordetella pertussis; pulsed-field gel electrophoresis; genotyping; Finland; France; dispatch
Pertussis is an infectious disease of the respiratory tract caused by Bordetella pertussis. Despite the introduction of mass vaccination against pertussis in Finland in 1952, pertussis has remained an endemic disease with regular epidemics. To monitor changes in the Finnish B. pertussis population, 101 isolates selected from 1991 to 2003 and 21 isolates selected from 1953 to 1982 were studied together with two Finnish vaccine strains. The analyses included serotyping of fimbriae (Fim), genotyping of the pertussis toxin S1 subunit (ptxA) and pertactin (prn), and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) after digestion of B. pertussis genomic DNA with XbaI restriction enzyme. Strains isolated before 1977 were found to harbor the same ptxA as the strains used in the Finnish whole-cell pertussis vaccine, and strains isolated before 1982 harbored the same prn as the strains used in the Finnish whole-cell pertussis vaccine. All recent isolates, however, represented genotypes distinct from those of the two vaccine strains. A marked shift of predominant serotype from Fim serotype 2 (Fim2) to Fim3 has been observed since the late 1990s. Temporal changes were seen in the genome of B. pertussis by PFGE analysis. Three PFGE profiles (BpSR1, BpSR11, and BpSR147) were distinguished by their prevalence between 1991 and 2003. The yearly emergence of the three profiles was distributed periodically. Our study stresses the importance of the continuous monitoring of emerging strains of B. pertussis and the need to obtain a better understanding of the relationship of the evolution of B. pertussis in vaccinated populations.
letter; Bordetella pertussis; whooping cough; epidemiology; molecular typing; pertactin; pertussis toxin
Immunization against pertussis was introduced in China in the 1960s. Since the 1970s, no culture-confirmed pertussis cases have been reported in the country. We report six infants with culture-confirmed pertussis, who were initially diagnosed as having other respiratory diseases, at Beijing Children’s Hospital, Beijing.
pertussis; immunization; bacterial culture
A LightCycler real-time PCR hybridization probe assay was developed for rapid typing of gene variants of the Bordetella pertussis virulence factor pertussis toxin. The assay correctly identified the ptxS1 alleles of all strains tested, comprising 57 Finnish clinical isolates and 2 vaccine strains. The method is simple, reliable, and suitable for large-scale screening of B. pertussis strains.
The cytokine secretion of the Salmonella-permissive, HLA-B27-positive U937 cells was examined, as it was previously shown that these cells kill Salmonella less efficiently than controls. Salmonella-permissive U937 cells showed upregulated production of interleukin 10 and to a lesser extent tumor necrosis factor alpha. HLA-B27-associated modulation of cytokine responses may have importance in the pathogenesis of reactive arthritis.
To differentiate the Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato genospecies, LightCycler real-time PCR was used for the fluorescence (SYBR Green I) melting curve analysis of borrelial recA gene PCR products. The specific melting temperature analyzed is a function of the GC/AT ratio, length, and nucleotide sequence of the amplified product. A total of 32 DNA samples were tested. Of them three were isolated from B. burgdorferi reference strains and 16 were isolated from B. burgdorferi strains cultured from Ixodes ricinus ticks; 13 were directly isolated from nine human biopsy specimens and four I. ricinus tick midguts. The melting temperature of B. garinii was 2°C lower than that of B. burgdorferi sensu stricto and B. afzelii. Melting curve analysis offers a rapid alternative for identification and detection of B. burgdorferi sensu lato genospecies.
Nitric oxide (NO) has a central role in host defense against intracellular microbes. HLA-B27 has been shown to directly modulate host-microbe interaction in vitro, leading to the impaired elimination of Salmonella in human monocytic U937 cells. Here, we studied whether impaired elimination of Salmonella would result from differences in NO production between HLA-B27- and HLA-A2-transfected U937 cells. Both human monocytic transfectants produced NO equally well and killed Salmonella via NO-independent mechanisms.
Five outbreaks of infection (three pertussis, one parapertussis,
and one mixed) in schools were studied prospectively. Nasopharyngeal
swabs were obtained from a total of 697 children for culture of
Bordetella organisms. Of 50 vaccinated children with
culture-confirmed Bordetella infections (29 with pertussis
and 21 parapertussis), 40 were symptomatic and 10 remained
symptom-free. Smaller numbers of colonies were recovered from the
nasopharyngeal swabs of the asymptomatic children than from those of
the symptomatic children. Older children had longer durations of
illness than younger ones. Our results indicate that during outbreaks
children who do not develop disease may have small amounts of
Bordetella organisms in their nasopharynges and/or better
immune defenses against the disease.
There is evidence that pertussis is reemerging in vaccinated populations. We have proposed, and provided evidence for, one explanation for this phenomenon in The Netherlands: antigenic divergence between vaccine strains and circulating strains. Finland has a pertussis vaccination history very similar to that of The Netherlands, and yet there is no evidence for an increase in the incidence of pertussis to the extent that it was observed in The Netherlands. A comparison of the Bordetella pertussis strains circulating in the two countries may shed light on the differences in pertussis epidemiology. Here we investigated whether temporal changes had occurred in pertussis toxin and pertactin types produced by the Finnish B. pertussis population. We show that strains isolated before 1964 produced the same pertussis toxin and pertactin variants as the vaccine strains. However, these vaccine types were replaced in later years, and in the 1990s most strains were distinct from the vaccine strains with respect to the two proteins. These trends are similar to those found in the Dutch B. pertussis population. An interesting difference between the contemporary Finnish and Dutch B. pertussis populations was found in the frequencies of pertactin variants, possibly explaining the distinct epidemiology of pertussis in the two countries.
Pertussis infection is increasingly recognized in older children and adults, indicating the need of booster immunizations in these age groups. We investigated the induction of pertussis-specific immunity in schoolchildren and adults after booster immunization and natural infection. The expression of mRNA of gamma interferon (IFN-γ), interleukin-2 (IL-2), IL-4, and IL-5 in the peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) was assayed by reverse transcription-PCR. The PBMCs of 17 children immunized with one dose of an acellular vaccine containing pertussis toxin (PT), filamentous hemagglutinin (FHA), and pertactin (PRN) significantly proliferated in vitro after stimulation with the vaccine antigens. The PBMCs of seven infected individuals markedly proliferated in the presence of PT and FHA, but the cells of only two of these subjects responded to PRN. At least one of the antigens induced mRNA for IL-4 and/or IL-5 in the cells of 93% of tested vaccinees and patients, and FHA induced IFN-γ mRNA in the cells of two-thirds of them. Expression of mRNA for IFN-γ correlated with the production of the cytokine protein. Anti-FHA immunoglobulin G antibodies significantly correlated with FHA-induced proliferative responses both before and after immunization. These results show that booster immunization with acellular pertussis vaccine induces both antibody- and cell-mediated immune responses in schoolchildren. Further, booster immunization and natural infection seem to induce the expression of mRNA of T-helper 1 (Th1) and Th2 type cytokines in similar manners. This observation supports the use of acellular pertussis vaccines for booster immunizations of older children, adolescents, and adults.