Asthma and antibodies to pneumococcal virulence proteins

Academic Article


  • Purpose: We previously reported that asthmatics had lower anti-serotype-specific pneumococcal polysaccharide antibody levels than non-asthmatics, and the T-helper 2 (Th2) immune profile was associated with suboptimal pneumococcal polysaccharide antibody. Our objective was to determine the influence of asthma status on anti-pneumococcal protein antigen antibody levels. Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study, which enrolled 16 children and adults with asthma and 14 subjects without asthma. Asthma was ascertained by predetermined criteria. Serum IgG antibody levels to pneumococcal surface protein A (PspA), pneumococcal surface protein C (PspC), pneumococcal choline-binding protein A (PcpA), and pneumolysin (PLY) were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA). These antibody levels were compared between asthmatics and non-asthmatics. The Th2 immune profile was determined by IL-5 secretion from PBMCs cultured with house dust mite (HDM) and staphylococcal enterotoxin B (SEB) at day 7. The correlation between the anti-pneumococcal antibody levels and the Th2-HDM and SEB-responsive immune profile was assessed. Results: Of the 30 subjects, 16 (53 %) were male and the median age was 26 years. There were no significant differences in anti-PspA, anti-PspC, anti-PcpA, and anti-PLY antibody levels between asthmatics and non-asthmatics. The Th2 immune profile was inversely correlated with the anti-PspC antibody levels (r = -0.53, p = 0.003). This correlation was significantly modified by asthma status (r = -0.74, p = 0.001 for asthmatics vs. r = -0.06, p = 0.83 for non-asthmatics). Other pneumococcal protein antibodies were not correlated with the Th2 immune profile. Conclusion: No significant differences in the anti-pneumococcal protein antigen antibody levels between asthmatics and non-asthmatics were found. Asthma status is an important effect modifier determining the negative influence of the Th2 immune profile on anti-PspC antibody levels. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Zhao H; Jung JA; Briles DE; Kita H; Tsigrelis C; Juhn YJ
  • Start Page

  • 927
  • End Page

  • 934
  • Volume

  • 41
  • Issue

  • 5