Pertussis toxin can induce encephalopathy. - GreenMedInfo Summary
Pertussis toxin is required for pertussis vaccine encephalopathy.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1985 Dec ;82(24):8733-6. PMID: 2867545
A mouse model for encephalopathy induced by pertussis immunization has been described; it has features that closely resemble some of the severe reactions, including seizures and a shock-like state leading to death, occasionally seen after administration of Bordetella pertussis (whooping cough) vaccine. Susceptibility to encephalopathy maps to genes of the major histocompatibility complex and correlates as well with the genetic regulation of the level of antibody response to bovine serum albumin. In this study we have investigated which bacterial determinant is responsible for the encephalopathy. Two lines of evidence implicate pertussis toxin as the active bacterial component. Single-site mutants of B. pertussis with single affected virulence factors were tested. A mutant that produces a defective pertussis toxin had greatly diminished capacity to induce encephalopathy, whereas a hemolysin- and adenylate-cyclase-deficient avirulent mutant had the same activity in the mouse model as a virulent strain. Purified pertussis toxin plus bovine serum albumin was tested and found to induce the lethal encephalopathy, demonstrating that the toxin was the critical constituent of B. pertussis responsible for encephalopathy.