We measured IgG-anti–pertussis toxin and –IgG-anti–filamentous hemagglutinin antibody values in 43 full term and 34 preterm infants and 79 mothers. Antibody values were generally low and mean values were higher in full term than preterm infants. Transfer ratios increased with gestational age of the newborns. Based on these findings, maternal and neonatal immunization strategies should be considered to protect young infants from pertussis.
From the *Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, University Children's Hospital, Basel, Switzerland; †Institut fuür Infektiologie Krefeld GmbH, Krefeld, Germany; and ‡HELIOS Klinikum Krefeld, Krefeld, Germany.
Accepted for publication November 4, 2008.
Address for correspondence: Ulrich Heininger, MD, Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, University Children's Hospital, PO Box, CH-4005 Basel, Switzerland. E-mail: Ulrich.Heininger@ukbb.ch.