Storage at -3 degrees C for 24 h alters the immunogenicity of pertussis vaccines


The immunogenicity of pertussis antigens in an acellular and a whole-cell triple antigen vaccine used for childhood immunisation was assessed in murine models after storage of vaccines below 0 degree C. Swiss outbred and Balb/c mice received DTPa or DTPw vaccine or placebo. Vaccines were stored at 2-8 degrees C (ideal), or at -3 degrees C for 24 h. Pre and post immunisation IgG responses to pertussis toxin (PT), filamentous haemagglutinin (FHA) and pertactin (PRN) were measured using enzyme immunoassays (EIA). In Balb/c mice, responses to pertactin after receiving adversely stored DTPa were significantly reduced (P = 0.005, difference in GMCs 145.9% [24.6-385.4%]). A reduction in GMC to pertactin was also seen in response to adversely stored DTPw (P = 0.190,224.1% [83.8-599.2%]). Outbred mice receiving adversely stored DTPa had lower IgG antibody responses to FHA than those receiving correctly stored vaccine (P = 0.002,522.2% [26.1-2155.6%]). Outbred mice also had a significantly lower response to FHA after administration of DTPw (P = 0.009,14.0% [3.8-51.9%]). Responses to DTPa in both strains generally were greater than those to DTPw. Storage of pertussis vaccines below 0 degree C appears to alter the immunogenicity of PRN and FHA. Further study is required to determine the effects of such storage on vaccine protective efficacy.