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Nature 299, 738 - 740 (21 October 1982); doi:10.1038/299738a0

Murine model for pertussis vaccine encephalopathy: linkage to H2

L. Steinman, S. Sriram, N. E. Adelman, S. Zamvil, H. O. McDevitt & H. Urich

Departments of Pediatrics, Neurology, Medical Microbiology, and Pathology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California 94305, USA and The Institute of Pathology, The London Hospital, London WC1N 3BG, UK

Local, systemic and neurological complications have been observed following pertussis (whooping cough) vaccination in children1,2. These often occur soon after primary or secondary immunization3–6. The neurological syndrome ranges from minor irritability to convulsions, coma, and on rare occasions death. Children who recover show varying degrees of permanent neurological sequelae. The pathogenesis of this encephalopathy is unknown, and the lack of an animal model has retarded our understanding of this disease. We describe here an animal model for pertussis immunization encephalopathy. A clinical syndrome with pathological features closely resembling post-immunization encephalopathy can be reproduced in the mouse after immunization with heat-killed Bordetella pertussis vaccine and exposure to a foreign antigen, if the inoculated animal has a susceptible H-2 genotype.

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