Immunogenicity and Safety of Monovalent Acellular Pertussis Vaccine at Birth: A Randomized Clinical Trial

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Abstract

Importance

An alternative option to maternal vaccination to prevent severe pertussis in infants is vaccination at birth. Data are needed on the immunogenicity and safety of a birth dose of monovalent acellular pertussis (aP) vaccine.

Objective

To compare IgG antibody responses to vaccine antigens at 6, 10, 24, and 32 weeks of age between newborn infants receiving the aP vaccine and hepatitis B vaccine (HBV) or HBV alone.

Design, Setting, and Participants

A randomized clinical trial was conducted at 4 sites in Australia (Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, and Perth) between June 11, 2010, and March 14, 2013, among 440 healthy term (>36 weeks’ gestation) infants aged less than 5 days at recruitment. Statistical analysis was performed from March 1, 2015, to June 2, 2016.

Intervention

Newborns received HBV and, after stratification by maternal receipt of adult-formulated aP-containing vaccine (tetanus toxoid, reduced diphtheria toxoid, and pertussis antigen content [Tdap]) prior to pregnancy, were block randomized to receive the aP vaccine (without diphtheria or tetanus) within 5 days of birth or not. At 6, 16, and 24 weeks, infants received a hexavalent vaccine with pediatric-formulated diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis antigens (DTaP), Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), HBV, and polio vaccine, as well as the 10-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine.

Main Outcomes and Measures

Detectable (>5 enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay units per milliliter) and geometric mean concentrations of IgG antibody to pertussis toxin (PT), pertactin, and filamentous hemagglutinin at 6, 10, and 24 weeks stratified by maternal Tdap history, and antibody at 32 weeks to HBV, Hib, polio, diphtheria, tetanus, and pneumococcal serotypes. The primary outcome was detectable IgG to both PT and pertactin at 10 weeks.

Results

A total of 440 infants (207 girls and 233 boys; median gestation, 39.2 weeks) were randomized to receive the aP vaccine plus HBV (n = 221) or HBV only (control group; n = 219). At 10 weeks, 192 of 206 infants who received the aP vaccine (93.2%) had detectable antibodies to both PT and pertactin vs 98 of 193 infants in the control group (50.8%) (P < .001), with the geometric mean concentration for PT IgG 4-fold higher among the group that received the aP vaccine. At age 32 weeks, all infants (n = 181 with sera available for testing) who received the aP vaccine at birth had detectable PT IgG and significantly lower IgG geometric mean concentrations for Hib, hepatitis B, diphtheria, and tetanus antibodies. Local and systemic adverse events were similar between both groups at all time points.

Conclusions and Relevance

The monovalent aP vaccine is immunogenic and safe in neonates and, if licensed and available, would be valuable for newborns whose mothers did not receive the Tdap vaccine during pregnancy.

Trial Registration

http://anzctr.org.au Identifier: ACTRN12609000905268

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