The problem of determining whether pertussis vaccination is effective in preventing whooping cough has been studied for many years. Extensive laboratory investigations have been carried out, but so far no satisfactory method has been developed that can be relied on to determine immunity to this disease. A number of investigators have studied the development of agglutinins and complement-fixing antibodies after vaccination,1 and some of them considered vaccination successful when a high titer of these antibodies was obtained. Although an increase of these antibodies can usually be obtained when large doses of a potent vaccine are given, there is no evidence that their presence even in high titers is an index of resistance to the disease.
Recent studies have shown that another antibody is stimulated by pertussis infection which may have a direct relation to immunity. Powell and Jamieson2 were the first to demonstrate that protective antibodies are present
MISHULOW L, WILKES ET, LISS MM, LEWIS E, BERKEY SR, LEIFER L. STIMULATION OF PERTUSSIS-PROTECTIVE ANTIBODIES BY VACCINATION: A COMPARATIVE STUDY OF PROTECTIVE, AGGLUTINATING AND COMPLEMENT-FIXING ANTIBODIES. Am J Dis Child. 1941;62(6):1205–1216. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1941.02000180079007
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