Immunization of humans with recombinant pneumococcal surface protein A (rPspA) elicits antibodies that passively protect mice from fatal infection with Streptococcus pneumoniae bearing heterologous PspA.
ABSTRACT Pneumococcal surface protein A (PspA), a cross-reactive protein expressed by all pneumococci, is known to elicit an antibody in animals that can passively protect mice from infection with Streptococcus pneumoniae. A phase I trial with recombinant PspA showed the protein to be immunogenic in humans. Pre- and postimmune serum samples from this trial were examined, and human antibody to PspA could protect mice from pneumococcal infection. The serum samples of subjects immunized twice with 125 microg of PspA had >100 times as much antibody per milliliter as was required to consistently protect mice from fatal infection (1.3 microg/dose). At least 98% of PspAs fall into PspA sequence/serologic families 1 or 2. Human antibodies elicited by a family 1 PspA protected against infection with S. pneumoniae expressing either family 1 or 2 PspAs and with strains of all 3 capsular types tested: 3, 6A, and 6B. These studies suggest that PspA may have efficacy as a human vaccine.
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ABSTRACT: Antigenic variation to evade host immunity has long been assumed to be a driving force of diversifying selection in pathogens. Colonization by Streptococcus pneumoniae, which is central to the organism's transmission and therefore evolution, is limited by two arms of the immune system: antibody- and T cell- mediated immunity. In particular, the effector activity of CD4(+) T(H)17 cell mediated immunity has been shown to act in trans, clearing co-colonizing pneumococci that do not bear the relevant antigen. It is thus unclear whether T(H)17 cell immunity allows benefit of antigenic variation and contributes to diversifying selection. Here we show that antigen-specific CD4(+) T(H)17 cell immunity almost equally reduces colonization by both an antigen-positive strain and a co-colonized, antigen-negative strain in a mouse model of pneumococcal carriage, thus potentially minimizing the advantage of escape from this type of immunity. Using a proteomic screening approach, we identified a list of candidate human CD4(+) T(H)17 cell antigens. Using this list and a previously published list of pneumococcal Antibody antigens, we bioinformatically assessed the signals of diversifying selection among the identified antigens compared to non-antigens. We found that Antibody antigen genes were significantly more likely to be under diversifying selection than the T(H)17 cell antigen genes, which were indistinguishable from non-antigens. Within the Antibody antigens, epitopes recognized by human antibodies showed stronger evidence of diversifying selection. Taken together, the data suggest that T(H)17 cell-mediated immunity, one form of T cell immunity that is important to limit carriage of antigen-positive pneumococcus, favors little diversifying selection in the targeted antigen. The results could provide new insight into pneumococcal vaccine design.PLoS Pathogens 11/2012; 8(11):e1002989. · 8.14 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Pneumococcal surface protein A (PspA) and Pneumolysin derivatives (Pds) are important vaccine candidates, which can confer protection in different models of pneumococcal infection. Furthermore, the combination of these two proteins was able to increase protection against pneumococcal sepsis in mice. The present study investigated the potential of hybrid proteins generated by genetic fusion of PspA fragments to Pds to increase cross-protection against fatal pneumococcal infection. Pneumolisoids were fused to the N-terminus of clade 1 or clade 2 pspA gene fragments. Mouse immunization with the fusion proteins induced high levels of antibodies against PspA and Pds, able to bind to intact pneumococci expressing a homologous PspA with the same intensity as antibodies to rPspA alone or the co-administered proteins. However, when antibody binding to pneumococci with heterologous PspAs was examined, antisera to the PspA-Pds fusion molecules showed stronger antibody binding and C3 deposition than antisera to co-administered proteins. In agreement with these results, antisera against the hybrid proteins were more effective in promoting the phagocytosis of bacteria bearing heterologous PspAs in vitro, leading to a significant reduction in the number of bacteria when compared to co-administered proteins. The respective antisera were also capable of neutralizing the lytic activity of Pneumolysin on sheep red blood cells. Finally, mice immunized with fusion proteins were protected against fatal challenge with pneumococcal strains expressing heterologous PspAs. Taken together, the results suggest that PspA-Pd fusion proteins comprise a promising vaccine strategy, able to increase the immune response mediated by cross-reactive antibodies and complement deposition to heterologous strains, and to confer protection against fatal challenge.PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(3):e59605. · 3.73 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The protection against pneumococcal infections provided by currently available pneumococcal polysaccharide conjugate vaccines are restricted to the limited number of the serotypes included in the vaccine. In the present study, we evaluated the distribution of the pneumococcal capsular type and surface protein A (PspA) family of pneumococcal isolates from upper respiratory tract infections in Japan. A total of 251 S. pneumoniae isolates from patients seeking treatment for upper respiratory tract infections were characterized for PspA family, antibiotic resistance and capsular type. Among the 251 pneumococci studied, the majority (49.4%) was identified as belonging to PspA family 2, while most of the remaining isolates (44.6%) belonged to family 1. There were no significant differences between the distributions of PspA1 versus PspA2 isolates based on the age or gender of the patient, source of the isolates or the isolates' susceptibilities to penicillin G. In contrast, the frequency of the mefA gene presence and of serotypes 15B and 19F were statistically more common among PspA2 strains. The vast majority of pneumococci isolated from the middle ear fluids, nasal discharges/sinus aspirates or pharyngeal secretions represented PspA families 1 and 2. Capsular serotypes were generally not exclusively associated with certain PspA families, although some capsular types showed a much higher proportion of either PspA1 or PspA2. A PspA-containing vaccine would potentially provide high coverage against pneumococcal infectious diseases because it would be cross-protective versus invasive disease with the majority of pneumococci infecting children and adults.PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(3):e58124. · 3.73 Impact Factor