is real Pertussis immunity passed through breastmilk? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 10-13-2010, 01:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So I am about 99% sure that I had pertusses when I was 14 years old. It was not diagnosed as anything at the time, despite all the bloodwork, MRIs, and other tests that they did for pneumonia, bronchitis, allergies, etc. I had had the pertusses vaccine on time as a child, and I was in a military hospital for all this testing (and I'm convinced that they think that vaccines are the best thing since sliced bread and always work, but that's another story). But reading about classic adolescent and adult symptoms later, I am convinced that's what I had.

Would my immunity to pertussis be passed to my baby via breastfeeding, then? I know nautral immunity for diseases like measles used to be passed to babies who nursed, so then the kids got it when they were older (done breasteeding) and could fend it off a bit more easily. Just wondering if pertussis works the same way?

Emily--Married to the love of my life 2008--Joyful mommy to Rachel Elizabeth 12/10
PM me about low supply; insufficient glandular tissue; posterior tongue tie; lip tie bfinfant.gif
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#2 of 8 Old 10-13-2010, 02:02 PM
 
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immunity to pertussis wanes after 5 years even if its acquired naturally. My understanding is that no bacterial immunity of any kind passes through breastmilk - however, if you and your baby are exposed to pertussis, you will pass on the antibodies you make in response to exposure via breastmilk. This won't make your baby immune, but it will directly aide the baby in fighting the bacteria.
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#3 of 8 Old 10-13-2010, 02:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks! I didn't know it waned after 5 years even from the disease itself; good to know.

Emily--Married to the love of my life 2008--Joyful mommy to Rachel Elizabeth 12/10
PM me about low supply; insufficient glandular tissue; posterior tongue tie; lip tie bfinfant.gif
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#4 of 8 Old 10-15-2010, 12:20 PM
 
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I remember reading once that, in a study of the Amish, babies under 1yo were unlikely to get pertussis due to high breastfeeding levels (and due to natural infections in the mother). I may be misremembering, though. It makes sense that as natural immunity wanes, the immunity wouldn't be passed to the baby. But, does anyone remember this study? Or something similar?
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#5 of 8 Old 10-16-2010, 07:47 AM
 
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Our data demonstrated the effectiveness of anti-pertussis antibodies in bacterial pathogenesis neutralization, emphasizing the importance of placental transfer and breast-feeding in protecting infants against respiratory infections caused by Bordetella pertussis.
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/1...410.x/abstract

I have not read this article in full, only the abstract. It has just been published and the fulltext is not available for free.


On the duration of immunity to pertussis, if you had pertussis, your immunity is likely to be strong for 4-20 years. (the vaccine 'works' for 4-12 years). You could have had a subsequent infection that you were not aware of that boosted your immunity. Pertussis is endemic, making this likely.

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A review of the published data on duration of immunity reveals estimates that infection-acquired immunity against pertussis disease wanes after 4-20 years and protective immunity after vaccination wanes after 4-12 years.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15876927

Immunity to pertussis is not well understood. The vaccine triggers an immune response to the antigen presented in the vaccine and antibodies are produced. However, antibodies from the vaccine are not the only factor when it comes to clearing the pertussis bacteria. Immunity in the mucosal linings of the lungs also has a role to play, and this role is still poorly understood.

I suspect that it is a combination of immunity passed across the placenta and the immunity in colostrum and breast milk that together offer protection, in the way of passive immunity from the mother to the baby.

Megan, mama to her little boy (Feb2008) and introducing our little girl (Dec 2010)
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#6 of 8 Old 07-19-2012, 10:53 PM
 
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Immunity against Pertussis through natural infection lasts up to 70 years.  See here:

http://www.plospathogens.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.ppat.1000647

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#7 of 8 Old 07-20-2012, 07:56 AM
 
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Originally Posted by syrius View Post

Immunity against Pertussis through natural infection lasts up to 70 years.  See here:
http://www.plospathogens.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.ppat.1000647

Where does it say anything about 70 years in that article?
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#8 of 8 Old 07-23-2012, 02:30 AM
 
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 My understanding of the immunity conferred by breastmilk is that we pass antibodies through the milk, so that while the child is continually drinking milk they will have your antibodies and be protected from illnesses you have immunity to. However antibodies not develop in the childs own body will no confer extended immunity which will last significantly beyond the end of breast feeding. 


Mother of two living in UK. Daughter (2007) born in USA, son (2010) born here. I'm pro natural birth, midwife care, breastfeeding, co-sleeping, baby wearing and a keen advocate of cloth diapering. I'm a full time working research scientist (physical sciences) and I'm pro-vaccine.

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