Systemic immunization with pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine induces a predominant IgA2 response of peripheral blood lymphocytes and increases of both serum and secretory anti-pneumococcal antibodies

Academic Article


  • Ig class-, and IgA and IgG subclass-specific immune responses to a 23 valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine were studied at a single-cell level in the peripheral blood of systemically immunized adults. With a solid phase enzyme-linked immunospot (ELISPOT) assay, PBMC from immunized individuals were assayed for spontaneous Ag-specific antibody (Ab) production before, and on days 7, 14, and 28 after vaccination. On the day of immunization, no spontaneous Ag-specific Ab-secreting cells could be detected. On day 7 after vaccination, a high frequency of cells secreting Ab specific for pneumococcal polysaccharides (PPS) was observed. The IgA class comprised 79% (geometric mean) of the Ag-specific Ab-secreting cells, whereas IgG- and IgM-secreting cells accounted for 12% and 9%, respectively. The majority of Ag-specific IgA-secreting cells produced Ab of the IgA2 isotype. Serum, saliva, and tears collected before and on days 7, 14, and 28 after vaccination were assayed for specific Ab to the vaccine (anti-PPS Ab) by an ELISA. Serum IgA anti-PPS Ab showed the highest increase after vaccination with a 19-fold increase (geometric mean) which peaked on day 14. However, the ratio of Ag-specific polymeric vs monomeric IgA did not change after immunization. Serum IgG and IgM anti-PPS Ab displayed mean increases of 5.5-fold and 5.6-fold, respectively, on day 14. The most pronounced increase of salivary anti-PPS Ab was observed in the IgG class (4.5-fold on day 28) followed by IgM (4-fold on day 28), IgA (2.1-fold on day 14), IgA1 (2.4-fold on day 14) and IgA2 (2.0-fold on day 14). The levels of total IgA, IgG, and IgM in saliva did not change significantly throughout the course of immunization. IgG and IgM anti-PPS Ab levels in tears increased less than in saliva, whereas IgA behaved similarly as in saliva. There were no significant differences in the Ag-specific increase rates between the IgA, IgG, and IgM isotypes in tears.
  • Published In

    Author List

  • Lue C; Tarkowski A; Mestecky J
  • Start Page

  • 3793
  • End Page

  • 3800
  • Volume

  • 140
  • Issue

  • 11