PspA family distribution, unlike capsular serotype, remains unaltered following introduction of the heptavalent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine

Academic Article


  • Pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (PCVs) are recommended for the prevention of invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) in young children. Since the introduction of the heptavalent pneumococcal vaccine (PCV7) in 2000, IPD caused by serotypes in the vaccine has almost been eliminated, and previously uncommon capsular serotypes now cause most cases of pediatric IPD in the United States. One way to protect against these strains would be to add cross-reactive protein antigens to new vaccines. One such protein is pneumococcal surface protein A (PspA). Prior to 2000, PspA families 1 and 2 were expressed by 94% of isolates. Because PCV7 vaccine pressure has resulted in IPD caused by capsular serotypes that were previously uncommon and unstudied for PspA expression, it was possible that many of the new strains expressed different PspA antigens or even lacked PspA. Of 157 pediatric invasive pneumococcal isolates collected at a large pediatric hospital in Alabama between 2002 and 2010, only 60.5% had capsular serotypes included in PCV13, which came into general use in Alabama after our strains were collected. These isolates included 17 serotypes that were not covered by PCV13. Nonetheless, pneumococcal capsular serotype replacement was not associated with changes in PspA expression; 96% of strains in this collection expressed PspA family 1 or 2. Continued surveillance will be critical to vaccine strategies to further reduce IPD. Copyright © 2012, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Croney CM; Coats MT; Nahm MH; Briles DE; Craina MJ
  • Start Page

  • 891
  • End Page

  • 896
  • Volume

  • 19
  • Issue

  • 6