Bordetella pertussis fimbriae (Fim): Relevance for vaccines

Andrew Gorringe*, Thomas E. Vaughan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Bordetella pertussis produces two serologically distinct fimbriae, Fim2 and Fim3. Expression of these antigens is governed by the BvgA/S system and by the length of a poly(C) tract in the promoter of each gene. Fim2 and Fim3 are important antigens for whole cell pertussis vaccines as clinical trials have shown an association of anti-fimbriae antibody-mediated agglutination and protection. The current five component acellular pertussis vaccine contains co-purified Fim2/3 and provided good efficacy in clinical trials with the anti-Fim antibody response correlating with protection when pre and post exposure antibody levels were analysed. The predominant serotype of B. pertussis isolates has changed over time in most countries but it is not understood whether this is vaccine-driven or whether serotype is linked to the prevailing predominant genotype. Recent studies have shown that both Fim2 and Fim3 are expressed during infection and that Fim2 is more immunogenic than Fim3 in the acellular vaccine.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1205-1214
Number of pages10
JournalExpert Review of Vaccines
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
A Gorringe has been the Principal Investigator in research grants funded by Sanofi Pasteur and GlaxoSmithKline. The authors are employees of Public Health England. No other funding has been received. The authors have no other relevant affiliations or financial involvement with any organization or entity with a financial interest in or financial conflict with the subject matter or materials discussed in the manuscript apart from those disclosed.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 Informa UK, Ltd.


  • Bordetella pertussis
  • Fim2
  • Fim3
  • antibody
  • fimbriae
  • serotype
  • vaccine


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