Human antibodies to pneumococcal surface protein A in health and disease

Academic Article


  • Background. Diseases caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae have a high impact in young children whose ability to mount antibodies to capsular polysaccharides is impaired. Pneumococcal surface protein A (PspA) is a potential vaccine candidate for this age group. Methods. We used Western blot analysis and enzyme immunoassay to study human sera of healthy adults from Alabama (n = 20) and from Finland (n = 21), healthy children from Finland (n = 20) and ill children from Finland, those with pneumococcal invasive infection (n = 26) and those with nonpneumococcal invasive infection (n = 26). Results. Human antibodies to PspA exhibited strong cross-reactivity among different pneumococcal strains. The geometric mean titer of IgG antibody to PspA in sera from 21 healthy adults was 4040, from ten 3-year-old healthy children 1080 and from ten 2-month-old healthy children 1650. The geometric mean titer of PspA antibody of acute phase sera of children with invasive pneumococcal disease was 140, significantly (P < 0.001) lower than the respective value, 1020, for children with infection caused by other bacteria. Conclusions. We demonstrate for the first time the existence of antibodies to PspA in human sera in health and disease. The findings in ill children suggest that antibodies to PspA might play a role in protection against pneumococcal disease.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Virolainen A; Russell W; Crain MJ; Rapola S; K√§yhty H; Briles DE
  • Start Page

  • 134
  • End Page

  • 138
  • Volume

  • 19
  • Issue

  • 2