Ficolin-2 binds to serotype 35B pneumococcus as it does to serotypes 11A and 31, and these serotypes cause more infections in older adults than in children

Academic Article


  • Among 98 serotypes of Streptococcus pneumoniae, only a small subset regularly causes invasive pneumococcal diseases (IPD). We previously demonstrated that serotype 11A binds to ficolin-2 and has low invasiveness in children. Epidemiologic data suggested, however, that serotype 11A IPD afflicts older adults, possibly indicating reduced ficolin-2-mediated immune protection. Therefore, we studied the epidemiology of ficolin-2-bound serotypes. We obtained IPD case data from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We studied three prominent ficolin-2-bound serotypes and their acetyltrans-ferase-deficient variants for ficolin-2 binding and ficolin-2-mediated complement deposition with flow-cytometry. We determined the age distributions of these serotypes from the obtained epidemiologic data. We discovered that the serotype 35B capsule is a novel ficolin-2 ligand due to O-acetylation via WciG. Ficolin-2-mediated complement deposition was observed on serotypes 11A and 35B but not serotype 31 or any O-acetyl transferase deficient derivatives of these serotypes. Serotypes 11A, 35B, and 31 cause more IPD among older adults than children. Studies of the three serotypes provide additional evidence for ficolin-2 providing innate immunity against IPD. The skewed age distribution of the three serotypes suggests that older adults have reduced ficolin-2-mediated immunity and are more susceptible to these serotypes.
  • Published In

  • PLoS One  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Aaron Geno K; Spencer BL; Bae S; Nahm MH
  • Volume

  • 13
  • Issue

  • 12