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stored in liquid nitrogen (Cameron, 1988), standardized mice
(strain HSFS/ N) (Manclark et al., 1976), a freeze-dried reference
vaccine (Armitage and Perry, 1957), and an interval between
immunization and injection of 14 to 17 days (Cameron, 1988).
The intranasal mouse protection test has been improved by use of
a standardized system for delivery of bacteria by aerosol (Sato and
Sato, 1988). This test has been used for the study of the role in
pathogenesis of bacterial adherence proteins, for example, the
69-kilodalton outer membrane protein (Shahin et al., 1990).
The toxicities of vaccines have been studied by the mouse weight
gain test. This test depends on the observation that
intraperitoneal injection of vaccine into young mice leads to a
weight loss within hours, followed by total recovery of weight
within the next 7 days (Cameron, 1988). The causes of
toxicity (manifested as poor weight gain) in the test are not well
understood; the test is not very sensitive to endotoxin (Cameron,
1977). Results of the test have been shown to vary with the
adjuvant or absorbent used with the vaccine, mouse strain, diet,
size of cage, ambient temperature, and duration of exposure to
light (Cameron, 1988). These vagaries further illustrate the
difficulty of generalizing to humans the results obtained from
studies in animals.
A sensitive assay for the particularly important toxin PT and
for anti-PT has been developed by using Chinese hamster ovary (CHO)
cells (Gillenius et al., 1985; Hewlett et al., 1983). In the
presence of PT, CHO cells undergo a characteristic clumping, which
can be blocked with antibody to PT. The test can detect PT at
levels one-fiftieth those of the next most sensitive assay
In summary, B. pertussis is a complex organism, multiple
factors having been proposed as possible contributors to its
virulence. Their role in whooping cough has not been clearly
established. Without better understanding of the organism and the
human disease, it cannot be concluded with confidence that data
from animal models relate to findings in humans.
Armitage P, Perry WLM. 1957. British
standard for pertussis vaccine: its use in routine control of
commercial vaccines. British Medical Journal 2:501-505.
Ashworth LAE, Irons LI, Dowsett AB. 1982.
Antigenic relationship between serotype-specific agglutinogen and
fimbriae of Bordetella pertussis. Infection and Immunity
Berenbaum MC, Ungar J, Stevens WK. 1960.
Intracranial infection of mice with Bordetella pertussis.
Journal of General Microbiology 22:313-322.
Cameron J. 1977. Pertussis vaccine:
mouse-weight-gain (toxicity) test. Developments in Biological
Cameron J. 1988. Evaluation of control
testing of pertussis vaccines. In: Wardlaw AC, Parton R, eds.
Pathogenesis and Immunity in Pertussis. New York: John Wiley &