The Journal of Infectious Diseases
The United States is experiencing a pertussis resurgence that resulted in a 60-year high of 48 000 cases in 2012. The majority of hospitalizations and deaths occur in infants too young to be vaccinated. Neonatal and maternal vaccination have been proposed to protect newborns until the first vaccination, currently recommended at 2 months of age. These interventions result in elevated anti-Bordetella pertussis titers, but there have been no studies demonstrating that these measures confer protection.,Baboons were vaccinated with acellular pertussis vaccine at 2 days of age or at 2 and 28 days of age. To model maternal vaccination, adult female baboons primed with acellular pertussis vaccine were boosted in the third trimester of pregnancy. Neonatally vaccinated infants, infants born to vaccinated mothers, and naive infants born to unvaccinated mothers were infected with B. pertussis at 5 weeks of age.,Naive infant baboons developed severe disease when challenged with B. pertussis at 5 weeks of age. Baboons receiving acellular pertussis vaccine and infants born to mothers vaccinated at the beginning of their third trimester were protected.,Our results demonstrate that neonatal vaccination and maternal vaccination confer protection in the baboon model and support further study of these strategies for protection of newborns from pertussis.