Improved protocols for histamine sensitization testing of acellular pertussis vaccines

Hokyung Oh, Jeewon Joung, Byoung Guk Kim, Kyung Tak Nam, Seung Hwa Hong, Hyun Chul Song, Ha Lim Lee, Byung Yoon Ahn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The histamine sensitization test is a widely used method for measuring the residual toxicity of pertussis toxin in acellular pertussis vaccines. Although it has been used as a routine assay for decades, the current protocols are difficult to standardize because the test results vary considerably and are based on several factors, including mouse strain, age and sex. In this study, we observed that mice of strains CD1, ddY and C57/BL6 were sufficiently sensitive to pertussis toxin among six mice strains tested and that aged male mice were more sensitive to pertussis toxin than younger or female mice. Using this animal model, we showed pertussis toxin dose-dependent responses in the two histamine sensitization test protocols based on either lethal end-point determination or mouse rectal temperature measurement. Sensitivity to pertussis toxin was further enhanced by the addition of lipopolysaccharide in both methods. With these improvements, pertussis toxin activity can be estimated more accurately and reproducibly using a reduced number of animals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7246-7252
Number of pages7
Issue number50
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Nov 26


  • Acellular pertussis vaccine
  • HIST
  • Histamine sensitization test
  • LPS
  • Mouse model
  • Pertussis toxin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • veterinary(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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