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Impact of pregnancy on polyfunctional IgG and memory B cell responses to Tdap immunization

Taton, M;Willems, F;Widomski, C;Martin, C;Jiang, Y;Renard, K;Cogan, A;Necsoi, C;Ackerman, ME;Marchant, A;Dauby, N;

Maternal pertussis immunization using Tdap vaccine is recommended in many countries to protect newborns from severe post-natal infection. Immunological changes during pregnancy may influence the response to vaccines. The quality of IgG and memory B cell responses to Tdap immunization in pregnant women has not yet been described.The impact of pregnancy on the response to Tdap vaccination was assessed by comparing humoral immune responses in 42 pregnant and 39 non-pregnant women. The levels of serum pertussis antigens and tetanus toxoid-specific IgG, IgG subclasses, IgG Fc-mediated effector functions, as well as memory B cell frequencies were assessed before and at several time points after vaccination.Tdap immunization induced similar levels of pertussis and tetanus-specific IgG and IgG subclasses in pregnant and non-pregnant women. Pregnant women produced IgG promoting complement deposition, and neutrophils and macrophages phagocytosis at levels comparable to non-pregnant women. They were also able to expand pertussis and tetanus-specific memory B cells at similar frequencies as non-pregnant women, suggesting equivalent “boostability”. Higher levels of vaccine-specific IgG, IgG subclasses, and IgG Fc-mediated effector functions were detected in cord blood as compared to maternal blood, indicating efficient transport across the placenta.This study demonstrates that pregnancy does not affect the quality of effector IgG and memory B cell responses to Tdap immunization and that polyfunctional IgG are efficiently transferred across the placenta.ClinicalTrials.Gov (NCT03519373).