Publications by authors named "Helena Käyhty"

96 Publications

A randomized, controlled trial comparing the immunogenecity and safety of a 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccination to a repeated dose 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccination in kidney transplant recipients.

Transpl Infect Dis 2020 Aug 23;22(4):e13343. Epub 2020 Jun 23.

HUH Inflammation Center, Division of Infectious Diseases of Helsinki University Hospital, Helsinki University, Helsinki, Finland.

Background: The risk of invasive pneumococcal disease is significant among solid organ transplant (SOT) recipients. The optimal pneumococcal vaccination strategy for SOT patients is not known.

Methods: The potential kidney transplant recipients in dialysis were randomized into two arms: to receive a 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPV23) before transplantation or to receive a 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13) before transplantation and a second dose of PCV13 six months after the transplantation. Serotype-specific antibody concentrations and opsonophagocytic activity (OPA) were measured before and after the first vaccination (visits V1,V2) and six and seven months after the transplantation, for example, before and after the second PCV13 (visits V3,V4).

Results: Out of 133 participants, 48 (PCV13 arm) and 46 (PPV23 arm) received a kidney transplant, and 37 + 37 in both arms completed the study. After the first vaccination, the geometric mean concentrations (GMCs) in the PCV13 arm were significantly higher for 9/13 serotypes and the OPA geometric mean titers (GMTs) were significantly higher for 4/13 serotypes. At V3, the antibody levels had declined but OPA remained significantly higher for 7/13 (PCV13) vs 4/13 (PPV23) serotypes. At V4, the GMCs for 9/13 serotypes and the GMTs for 12/13 serotypes were significantly higher in the PCV13 arm. The GMCs but not GMTs were lower than at V2. There was no difference in adverse effects. No vaccine-related allograft rejection was detected.

Conclusions: The immunogenicity of PCV13 was better in dialysis patients, and revaccination with PCV13 was immunogenic and safe.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/tid.13343DOI Listing
August 2020

Antibody response to the 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine after conjugate vaccine in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

Hum Vaccin Immunother 2019 9;15(12):2910-2913. Epub 2019 Jul 9.

Department of Internal Medicine, Tampere University Hospital, Tampere, Finland.

The 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPV23) given alone is ineffective in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and better antibody response is achieved with pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (PCVs). In this study, we determine whether CLL patients would achieve a significant antibody response and broaden their serotype coverage against invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) with PPV23 given five years after the 7-valent conjugate vaccine (PCV7). A total of 24 patients with CLL and eight controls were vaccinated with PPV23 five years after PCV7. Blood samples for evaluation of antibody response to PCV7 serotypes and PPV23 serotypes 5 and 7 were taken before vaccination and one month after it. Post-vaccination samples were available from 20 patients. IgG antibodies were measured with ELISA. Antibody concentrations after PPV23 were significantly lower in CLL patients for six of the PCV7 serotypes and for both PPV23 serotypes. Only 10% to 15% of CLL patients achieved an antibody response suggested to be protective against IPD. Hence, PCV7 given five years before PPV23 did not improve antibody response in patients with CLL. Based on our results, PPV23 given after a PCV primer is not useful against IPD in CLL patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/21645515.2019.1627160DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6930110PMC
May 2020

Comparison of serological assays using pneumococcal proteins or polysaccharides for detection of Streptococcus pneumoniae infection in children with community-acquired pneumonia.

J Immunol Methods 2018 09 20;460:72-78. Epub 2018 Jun 20.

Postgraduate Program in Health Sciences, Federal University of Bahia School of Medicine, Salvador, Brazil; Department of Paediatrics, Federal University of Bahia School of Medicine, Salvador, Brazil.

The aim of this study was to compare the results of serological assays using pneumococcal proteins or polysaccharides for the detection of pneumococcal infection in childhood pneumonia. Serological assays measured IgG against eight pneumococcal proteins (Ply,CbpA,PspA1,PspA2,PcpA,PhtD,StkP-C,PcsB-N), C-polysaccharide [in the whole study population, n = 183], or 19 pneumococcal capsular polysaccharides (1,2,4,5,6B,7F,8,9 V,10A,11A,12F,14,15B,17F,18C,19F,20,23F,33F) [only in a subgroup of patients, n = 53] in paired serum samples of children aged <5 years-old hospitalized with clinical and radiological diagnosis of community-acquired pneumonia. We also performed an inhibition of binding test with the anti-capsular polysaccharide assay in order to confirm the specificity of the antibody responses detected. Invasive pneumococcal pneumonia was investigated by blood culture and PCR (ply-primer). Among 183 children, the anti-protein assay detected antibody response in 77/183(42.1%) patients and the anti-C-polysaccharide assay in 28/183(15.3%) patients. In a subgroup of 53 children, the anti-protein assay detected response in 32/53(60.4%) patients, the anti-C-polysaccharide assay in 11/53(20.8%) patients, and the anti-capsular polysaccharide in 25/53(47.2%) patients. Simultaneous antibody responses against ≥2 different capsular polysaccharides were detected in 11/53(20.8%) patients and this finding could not be explained by cross-reactivity between different serotypes. Among 13 patients with invasive pneumococcal pneumonia, the sensitivity of the anti-protein assay was 92.3%(12/13), of the anti-C-polysaccharide assay 30.8%(4/13), and of the anti-capsular polysaccharide assay 46.2%(6/13). The serological assay using pneumococcal proteins is more sensitive for the detection of pneumococcal infection in children with pneumonia than the assay using pneumococcal polysaccharides. Future studies on childhood pneumonia aetiology should consider applying serological assays using pneumococcal proteins.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jim.2018.06.011DOI Listing
September 2018

Antibody responses against Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae and Moraxella catarrhalis in children with acute respiratory infection with or without nasopharyngeal bacterial carriage.

Infect Dis (Lond) 2018 09 24;50(9):705-713. Epub 2018 Apr 24.

d Postgraduate Programme in Health Sciences, Department of Paediatrics , Federal University of Bahia School of Medicine , Salvador , Brazil.

Background: We studied Immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibody responses against Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae and Moraxella catarrhalis in young children with acute viral type respiratory infection and analyzed the findings in a multivariate model including age, nasopharyngeal carriage of the tested bacteria and pneumococcal vaccination.

Methods: We included 227 children aged 6-23 months with acute respiratory infection. Nasopharyngeal aspirates were tested for bacterial carriage through detection of messenger RNA (mRNA) transcript with nCounter analysis. Acute and convalescent serum samples were tested for IgG antibody response against eight pneumococcal proteins, three proteins from H. influenzae and five proteins from M. catarrhalis in a fluorescent multiplex immunoassay.

Results: A two-fold or greater increase in antibodies to S. pneumoniae, H. influenzae and M. catarrhalis was detected in 27.8, 9.7 and 14.1%, respectively. Nasopharyngeal carriage of each of the studied bacteria was not associated with antibody response detection against each respective bacterium. Furthermore, neither age nor pneumococcal vaccination were independently associated to detection of antibody response against the studied bacteria. Children who carried H. influenzae had higher frequency of colonization by M. catarrhalis (175 [80.3%] vs. 2 [22.2%]; p < .001) than those without H. influenzae. Also, children with acute otitis media tended to have higher frequency of antibody response to S. pneumoniae.

Conclusion: Nasopharyngeal colonization by S. pneumoniae, H. influenzae and M. catarrhalis did not induce significant increases in antibody levels to these bacteria. Carriage of pathogenic bacteria in the nasopharynx is not able to elicit antibody responses to protein antigens similar to those caused by symptomatic infections.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/23744235.2018.1463451DOI Listing
September 2018

A toddler PCV booster dose following 3 infancy priming doses increases circulating serotype-specific IGG levels but does not increase protection against carriage.

Vaccine 2018 05 11;36(20):2774-2782. Epub 2018 Apr 11.

The Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva, Israel; The Pediatric Infectious Disease Unit, Soroka University Medical Center, Beer-Sheva, Israel.

Background: We compared PCV7 serological response and protection against carriage in infants receiving 3 doses (2, 4, 6 months; 3+0 schedule) to those receiving a booster (12 months; 3+1).

Methods: A prospective, randomized controlled study, conducted between 2005 and 2008, before PCVs were implemented in Israel. Healthy infants were randomized 1:1:1 to receive 3+1, 3+0 and 0+2 (control group; 12, 18 months doses). Nasopharyngeal/oropharyngeal swabs were obtained at all visits. Serum serotype-specific IgG concentrations and opsonic activities (OPA) were measured at 2, 7, 13 and 19 months. This study was registered with Current Controlled Trials, Ltd. ISRCTN28445844.

Results: Overall, 544 infants were enrolled: 3+1 (n = 178), 3+0 (n = 178) and 0+2 (n = 188). Post-priming (7 months), antibody concentrations were similar in both groups, except for serotype 18C (higher in 3+0). Post-booster (13, 19 months), ELISA and OPA levels were significantly higher in 3+1 than in 3+0 group. Nasopharyngeal/oropharyngeal cultures were positive for Streptococcus pneumoniae in 2673 (54.3%) visits. Acquisition rates (vaccine and non-vaccine serotypes) were similar for 3+1 and 3+0 groups at 7-30 months and for 0+2 group at 19-30 months.

Conclusions: PCV7 booster after 3 priming doses increased substantially IgG concentrations but did not further reduced vaccine-serotype nasopharyngeal acquisition, suggesting that protection from pneumococcal carriage does not depend primarily on serum IgG.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vaccine.2018.04.007DOI Listing
May 2018

Antibody persistence after pneumococcal conjugate vaccination in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

Hum Vaccin Immunother 2018 06 23;14(6):1471-1474. Epub 2018 Feb 23.

g Department of Internal Medicine , Tampere University Hospital , Tampere , Finland.

Patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) are at a high risk for infections caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae. A pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) can induce a significant antibody response for some CLL patients. In this study we investigated antibody persistence after PCV7 in patients with CLL. The study material comprised 24 patients with CLL and 8 immunocompetent controls. The median antibody concentrations five years after PCV7 were lower for six pneumococcal serotypes in patients with CLL compared to controls, but the difference was not statistically significant. Depending on the serotype, the percentage of the CLL patients with antibody levels suggested to provide protection against invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) varied from 29 to 71% five years after vaccination. This data suggests that PCV could result in antibody persistence at least five years in CLL patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/21645515.2018.1436424DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6037466PMC
June 2018

Infection by Streptococcus pneumoniae in children with or without radiologically confirmed pneumonia.

J Pediatr (Rio J) 2018 Jan - Feb;94(1):23-30. Epub 2017 Jun 29.

Universidade Federal da Bahia (UFBA), Faculdade de Medicina, Programa de Pós-Graduação em Ciências da Saúde, Salvador, BA, Brazil; Universidade Federal da Bahia (UFBA), Faculdade de Medicina, Departamento de Pediatria, Salvador, BA, Brazil.

Objective: Community-acquired pneumonia is an important cause of morbidity in childhood, but the detection of its causative agent remains a diagnostic challenge. The authors aimed to evaluate the role of the chest radiograph to identify cases of community-aquired pneumonia caused by typical bacteria.

Methods: The frequency of infection by Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, and Moraxella catarrhalis was compared in non-hospitalized children with clinical diagnosis of community acquired pneumonia aged 2-59 months with or without radiological confirmation (n=249 and 366, respectively). Infection by S. pneumoniae was diagnosed by the detection of a serological response against at least one of eight pneumococcal proteins (defined as an increase ≥2-fold in the IgG levels against Ply, CbpA, PspA1 and PspA2, PhtD, StkP-C, and PcsB-N, or an increase ≥1.5-fold against PcpA). Infection by H. influenzae and M. catarrhalis was defined as an increase ≥2-fold on the levels of microbe-specific IgG.

Results: Children with radiologically confirmed pneumonia had higher rates of infection by S. pneumoniae. The presence of pneumococcal infection increased the odds of having radiologically confirmed pneumonia by 2.8 times (95% CI: 1.8-4.3). The negative predictive value of the normal chest radiograph for infection by S. pneumoniae was 86.3% (95% CI: 82.4-89.7%). There was no difference on the rates of infection by H. influenzae and M. catarrhalis between children with community-acquired pneumonia with and without radiological confirmation.

Conclusions: Among children with clinical diagnosis of community-acquired pneumonia submitted to chest radiograph, those with radiologically confirmed pneumonia present a higher rate of infection by S. pneumoniae when compared with those with a normal chest radiograph.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jped.2017.03.004DOI Listing
September 2018

Pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccination administered early after neurotrauma or neurosurgery.

Vaccine 2017 02 6;35(6):909-915. Epub 2017 Jan 6.

Dept of Medical Sciences, Section of Infectious Diseases, Uppsala University, Sweden.

Objectives: Pneumococcal vaccination is recommended to lower the risk of posttraumatic meningitis, and early vaccination may be of importance. After both trauma and central nervous system injury, immune-suppression may occur, which could affect T-cell function and the response to T-cell dependent vaccines. We therefore aimed to investigate the response to early vaccination with a T-cell independent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV).

Methods: Thirty-three patients with basilar skull fracture and 23 patients undergoing transsphenoidal pituitary gland surgery were vaccinated with PPSV within 10days after neurotrauma or neurosurgery. Twenty-nine neurosurgical patients vaccinated ⩾3weeks after neurotrauma or neurosurgery served as controls. Serotype-specific anti-polysaccharide binding IgG antibody levels to serotypes 4, 6B, 9V, 14, 18C, 19F and 23F were determined by enzyme immunoassay.

Results: The vaccination was safe and a highly significant antibody response was found against all serotypes in all groups (p<0.001 for each of the serotypes). There were no differences between groups or in the group by time interaction in any of the serotypes. After early and late vaccination, protective levels were found in >80% for serotypes 9V, 14, 18C, 19F and 23F and in 70% and 50% for serotypes 6B and 4, respectively.

Conclusion: Patients vaccinated with PPSV within 10days after neurotrauma or neurosurgery respond similarly to those vaccinated after ⩾3weeks, indicating that PPSV can be administered early after neurotrauma or neurosurgery.

Clinical Trials Registration: NCT02806284.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vaccine.2016.12.065DOI Listing
February 2017

Natural Development of Antibodies against Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, and Moraxella catarrhalis Protein Antigens during the First 13 Years of Life.

Clin Vaccine Immunol 2016 Nov 4;23(11):878-883. Epub 2016 Nov 4.

Department of Pediatrics, Federal University of Bahia School of Medicine, Salvador, Bahia, Brazil.

Conserved protein antigens have been investigated as vaccine candidates against respiratory pathogens. We evaluated the natural development of antibodies against Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, and Moraxella catarrhalis proteins during childhood. Serum samples were collected from 50 healthy children from their first months to age 13 years (median sampling interval, 6 months). We also analyzed serum samples from 24 adults. Serum IgG antibodies against eight pneumococcal proteins (Ply, CbpA, PspA 1 and 2, PcpA, PhtD, StkP-C, and PcsB-N), three H. influenzae proteins, and five M. catarrhalis proteins were measured using a multiplexed bead-based immunoassay. Antibody levels were analyzed using multilevel mixed-effects regression and Spearman's correlation. Antibody levels against pneumococcal proteins peaked at 3 to 5 years of age and then reached a plateau. Antibody levels against H. influenzae proteins peaked during the second year and then stabilized. Antibody levels against M. catarrhalis proteins peaked during the first year and then slowly decreased. Peak antibody levels during childhood were higher than those of adults. Correlations among pneumococcal antibody levels were highest among anti-CbpA, anti-PcpA, and anti-PhtD antibodies (r = 0.71 to 0.75; P < 0.001). The children presented 854 symptomatic respiratory infections on 586 occasions. Symptomatic respiratory infections did not improve prediction of antibody levels in the regression model. The maturation of immune responses against the investigated pneumococcal proteins shares similarities, especially among CbpA, PcpA, and PhtD. Antibody production against H. influenzae and M. catarrhalis proteins starts early in life and reaches peak levels earlier than antibody production against the pneumococcal proteins. Basal antibody levels are not related to the occurrence of symptomatic respiratory infections.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/CVI.00341-16DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5098021PMC
November 2016

Effect of Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine on the Natural Antibodies and Antibody Responses Against Protein Antigens From Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae and Moraxella catarrhalis in Children With Community-acquired Pneumonia.

Pediatr Infect Dis J 2016 06;35(6):683-9

From the *Postgraduate Program in Health Sciences, †Postgraduate Program in Human Pathology, ‡Department of Paediatrics, Federal University of Bahia School of Medicine, Salvador Bahia, Brazil; §DST/NRF Vaccine Preventable Diseases, Respiratory and Meningeal Pathogens Research Unit, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa; ¶Valneva Austria GmbH, Campus Vienna Biocenter 3, Vienna, Austria; ‖Centro de Pesquisa Gonçalo Moniz, Fundação Oswaldo Cruz (FIOCRUZ), Salvador, Bahia, Brazil; **Department of Paediatrics, Turku University and University Hospital, Turku, Finland; ††National Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland.

Background: Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae and Moraxella catarrhalis are common causative agents of respiratory infections. Pneumococcal conjugate vaccines have been introduced recently, but their effect on the natural immunity against protein antigens from these pathogens has not been elucidated.

Methods: This was an age-matched observational controlled study that evaluated the influence of 10-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccines on the levels of antibodies and frequencies of antibody responses against proteins from S. pneumoniae, H. influenzae and M. catarrhalis in serum samples of children with community-acquired pneumonia. Eight pneumococcal proteins (pneumolysin, choline-binding protein A, pneumococcal surface protein A families 1 and 2, pneumococcal choline-binding protein A, pneumococcal histidine triad protein D, serine/threonine protein kinase, protein required for cell wall separation of group B streptococcus), 3 proteins from H. influenzae (including protein D) and 5 M. catarrhalis proteins were investigated.

Results: The study group comprised 38 vaccinated children and 114 age-matched controls (median age: 14.5 vs. 14.6 months, respectively; P = 0.997), all with community-acquired pneumonia. There was no difference on clinical baseline characteristics between vaccinated and unvaccinated children. Vaccinated children had significantly lower levels of antibodies against 4 of the studied pneumococcal antigens (P = 0.048 for Ply, P = 0.018 for pneumococcal surface protein A, P = 0.001 for StkP and P = 0.028 for PcsB) and higher levels of antibodies against M. catarrhalis (P = 0.015). Nevertheless, the vaccination status did not significantly affect the rates of antibody responses against S. pneumoniae, H. influenzae and M. catarrhalis.

Conclusions: In spite of the differences that have been found on the level of natural antibodies, no effect from pneumococcal vaccination was observed on the rate of immune responses associated with community-acquired pneumonia against protein antigens from S. pneumoniae, H. influenzae and M. catarrhalis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/INF.0000000000001126DOI Listing
June 2016

Serological diagnosis of pneumococcal infection in children with pneumonia using protein antigens: A study of cut-offs with positive and negative controls.

J Immunol Methods 2016 06 27;433:31-7. Epub 2016 Feb 27.

Postgraduate Programme in Health Sciences, Federal University of Bahia School of Medicine, Salvador, Bahia, Brazil; Department of Pediatrics, Federal University of Bahia School of Medicine, Salvador, Bahia, Brazil.

The etiological diagnosis of infection by Streptococcus pneumoniae in children is difficult, and the use of indirect techniques is frequently warranted. We aimed to study the use of pneumococcal proteins for the serological diagnosis of pneumococcal infection in children with pneumonia. We analyzed paired serum samples from 13 Brazilian children with invasive pneumococcal pneumonia (positive control group) and 23 Finnish children with viral pharyngitis (negative control group), all aged <5years-old. Children with pharyngitis were evaluated for oropharyngeal colonization, and none of them carried S. pneumoniae. We used a multiplex bead-based assay with eight proteins: Ply, CbpA, PspA1 and 2, PcpA, PhtD, StkP and PcsB. The optimal cut-off for increase in antibody level for the diagnosis of pneumococcal infection was determined for each antigen by ROC curve analysis. The positive control group had a significantly higher rate of ≥2-fold rise in antibody levels against all pneumococcal proteins, except Ply, compared to the negative controls. The cut-off of ≥2-fold increase in antibody levels was accurate for pneumococcal infection diagnosis for all investigated antigens. However, there was a substantial increase in the accuracy of the test with a cut-off of ≥1.52-fold rise in antibody levels for PcpA. When using the investigated protein antigens for the diagnosis of pneumococcal infection, the detection of response against at least one antigen was highly sensitive (92.31%) and specific (91.30%). The use of serology with pneumococcal proteins is a promising method for the diagnosis of pneumococcal infection in children with pneumonia. The use of a ≥2-fold increase cut-off is adequate for most pneumococcal proteins.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jim.2016.02.021DOI Listing
June 2016

Applied public health research on the frontline.

Lancet Infect Dis 2015 Apr 18;15(4):365-6. Epub 2015 Feb 18.

National Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland. Electronic address:

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1473-3099(15)70052-6DOI Listing
April 2015

Lower response to early T-cell-dependent vaccination after neurotrauma or neurosurgery in adults.

J Infect 2015 Jun 3;70(6):577-84. Epub 2015 Jan 3.

Dept of Medical Sciences, Section of Infectious Diseases, Uppsala University, Sweden.

Background: Recent international guidelines recommend vaccination with a 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine to reduce the risk of meningitis after neurotrauma with cerebrospinal fluid leak. The antibody response and optimal time point for vaccination have not been established and because the risk of meningitis is at the highest shortly after trauma, early vaccination is preferable. This study aimed to investigate the antibody response and to ensure that central nervous system injury-induced immunodepression did not affect the response to a T-cell-dependent conjugate vaccine when administered shortly after the injury.

Methods: So as not to interfere with routine pneumococcal vaccination, a conjugate vaccine against Haemophilus influenza type b (Hib) was chosen for the study. Thirty-three patients with basilar skull fracture and 23 patients undergoing transsphenoidal pituitary gland surgery were vaccinated within 10 days after trauma/surgery and 29 control patients at least three weeks after trauma/surgery. Sera were collected pre- and post-vaccination for analysis of anti-Hib concentration.

Results: Four patients with post-vaccination target antibody concentration before vaccination were excluded from analysis. In the neurotrauma and neurosurgery groups 10/32 (31%) and 5/20 (25%) patients, respectively, were non-responders compared with 3/29 (10%) in the control group. Log10 anti-Hib concentrations in the neurotrauma, neurosurgery and control groups were 1.52 ± 0.15, 1.38 ± 0.15 and 1.81 ± 0.12 μg/ml, respectively.

Conclusions: The majority of the patients responded to vaccination. However, the number of responders was significantly decreased and antibody concentration significantly lower in patients vaccinated early after the trauma/surgery. Investigation of the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine response in neurotrauma patients is therefore urgent.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jinf.2014.12.014DOI Listing
June 2015

A fluorescent multiplexed bead-based immunoassay (FMIA) for quantitation of IgG against Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae and Moraxella catarrhalis protein antigens.

J Immunol Methods 2014 Mar 11;405:130-43. Epub 2014 Feb 11.

National Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland.

Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, and Moraxella catarrhalis are pathogens commonly associated with infectious diseases in childhood. This study aimed to develop a fluorescent multiplexed bead-based immunoassay (FMIA) using recombinant proteins for the quantitation of serum IgG antibodies against these bacteria. Eight pneumococcal proteins (Ply, CbpA, PspA1, PspA2, PcpA, PhtD, SP1732-3 and SP2216-1), 3 proteins of H. influenzae (NTHi Protein D, NTHi0371-1, NTHi0830), and 5 proteins of M. catarrhalis (MC Omp CD, MC_RH4_2506, MC_RH4_1701, MC_RH4_3729-1, MC_RH4_4730) were used to develop the FMIA. Optimal coupling concentrations for each protein, comparison of singleplex and multiplex assays, specificity, reproducibility, and correlation to ELISA for six pneumococcal antigens were determined for validation. FMIA was then used to analyze acute and convalescent paired serum samples of 50 children with non-severe pneumonia. The coupling concentrations varied for different antigens, ranging from 1.6 to 32μg of protein/million beads. Correlation between singleplexed and multiplexed assays was excellent, with R≥0.987. The FMIA was specific, reaching >92% homologous inhibition for all specificities; heterologous inhibition ≥20% was found only in six cases. The assay was repeatable, with averages of intra-assay variation ≤10.5%, day-to-day variation ≤9.7% and variation between technicians ≤9.1%. Comparison with ELISA for pneumococcal antigens demonstrated good correlation with R ranging from 0.854 (PspA2) to 0.976 (PcpA). The samples from children showed a wide range of antibody concentrations and increases in convalescent samples. In conclusion, the FMIA was sensitive, specific, and repeatable, using small amounts of recombinant proteins and sera to detect antibodies against S. pneumoniae, H. influenzae and M. catarrhalis. The methodology would be suitable for studies investigating etiological diagnosis and in experimental vaccine studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jim.2014.02.002DOI Listing
March 2014

Colonisation endpoints in Streptococcus pneumoniae vaccine trials.

Vaccine 2013 Dec 7;32(1):153-8. Epub 2013 Sep 7.

Department of Vaccination and Immune Protection, National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL), P.O. BOX 30, FI-00271, Helsinki, Finland.

Evaluating vaccine efficacy for protection against colonisation (VEcol) with bacterial pathogens is an area of growing interest. In this article, we consider estimation of VEcol for colonisation with Streptococcus pneumoniae (the pneumococcus). Colonisation is a common, recurrent and multi-type endpoint that requires both careful definition of the vaccine efficacy parameter and the corresponding method of estimation. We review recent developments in the area and provide practical guidelines for choosing the estimand and the estimation method in trials with a colonisation endpoint. We concentrate on methods that are based on a cross-sectional study design, in which only one nasopharyngeal sample is obtained per study subject.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vaccine.2013.08.061DOI Listing
December 2013

Design questions for Streptococcus pneumoniae vaccine trials with a colonisation endpoint.

Vaccine 2013 Dec 18;32(1):159-64. Epub 2013 Jul 18.

Department of Vaccination and Immune Protection, National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL), P.O. Box 30, FI-00271 Helsinki, Finland.

Evaluation of vaccine efficacy for protection against colonisation (VEcol) with Streptococcus pneumoniae and other bacterial pathogens is often based on a cross-sectional study design, in which only one nasopharyngeal sample is obtained per study subject. Here we investigate the feasibility of this study design by investigating a number of practical design problems. Specific questions are related to the timing of colonisation measurement with respect to the time of vaccination, the adjustment for the within-host replacement of vaccine-type colonisation by the non-vaccine type pneumococci, and the impact of multiple serotype colonisation on VEcol estimation. We also discuss the issue of choosing the control vaccine, including comparison of two active pneumococcal vaccines, as well as the sample size and the statistical power of colonisation endpoint trials. In addition, the statistical design with the specific aim to include information about VEcol in the licensure process of new pneumococcal vaccine products is discussed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vaccine.2013.06.105DOI Listing
December 2013

Concentration and high avidity of pneumococcal antibodies persist at least 4 years after immunization with pneumococcal conjugate vaccine in infancy.

Clin Vaccine Immunol 2013 Jul 8;20(7):1034-40. Epub 2013 May 8.

National Institute for Health and Welfare THL, Helsinki, Finland.

To provide more extensive evidence of long-term effects of vaccination on immunity against Streptococcus pneumoniae, a follow-up study of the Finnish Otitis Media (FinOM) Vaccine Trial was conducted. One of the objectives was to assess the persistence and avidity of pneumococcal antibodies 4 years after pneumococcal vaccination given in infancy. Children with complete follow-up in the FinOM trial up to 24 months of age were invited to a single visit in their fifth year of life. A blood sample was taken from all children for determination of anticapsular antibody concentrations to vaccine serotypes and avidity of antibodies to three serotypes. Children had been vaccinated at 2, 4, 6, and 12 months of age with 7-valent pneumococcal capsular polysaccharide, CRM197 conjugate vaccine (PCV7), or a control vaccine. Serum IgG antibody concentrations to vaccine serotypes remained significantly higher in children who had received PCV7 than in control children for 4 years after the fourth PCV7 dose. Concentrations of antibodies to frequently carried serotypes (6B and 19F) declined less than those of antibodies to a rarely carried serotype (4), suggesting that natural boosting contributed to antibody persistence. Furthermore, antibody avidity was significantly higher in PCV7 than control vaccine recipients. Four doses of PCV7 given in infancy elicit long-lasting antibody responses with high avidity. (This study has been registered at ClinicalTrials.gov under registration no. NCT00378417.).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/CVI.00039-13DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3697453PMC
July 2013

The fundamental link between pneumococcal carriage and disease.

Expert Rev Vaccines 2012 Jul;11(7):841-55

Department of Vaccination and Immune Protection, National Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland.

Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus) is a major cause of worldwide mortality and morbidity, and to a large extent is vaccine-preventable. Nasopharyngeal carriage of pneumococcus precedes disease and is the source of pneumococcal spread between people. The use of vaccine effect on carriage as part of the vaccine licensure and post-vaccine introduction evaluation could facilitate and expand the licensure of new, life-saving pneumococcal vaccines and enable a comprehensive estimate of population effects after vaccine introduction. The authors provide a review of the evidence supporting pneumococcal carriage at the individual level as an immediate and necessary precursor to pneumococcal disease. Based on such a causal link between carriage and disease, the authors emphasize the role of information on pneumococcal carriage in vaccine trials and in public health decision-making.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1586/erv.12.53DOI Listing
July 2012

Serum IgM antibodies contribute to high levels of opsonophagocytic activities in toddlers immunized with a single dose of the 9-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine.

Clin Vaccine Immunol 2012 Oct 8;19(10):1618-23. Epub 2012 Aug 8.

Department of Vaccination and Immune Protection, National Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland.

In immunogenicity trials of pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (PCVs), only IgG antibody concentrations to pneumococcal capsular polysaccharides (PPSs) are usually determined, along with the opsonophagocytic activity (OPA) of antipneumococcal antibodies. We aimed to determine the role of both IgG and IgM in OPA in toddlers receiving one dose of 9-valent PCV (PCV9). The IgG and IgM antibody concentrations to PPSs of serotypes 6A, 9V, 14, 19F, and 23F were measured by enzyme immunoassay in sera from toddlers (ages 18 to 35 months) 1 month after a single PCV9 dose. The OPA for the same serotypes was measured by multiplexed opsonophagocytosis assay (MOPA). Further, IgG and IgM concentrations and MOPA were measured to PPS of serotypes 6A, 14, and 19F in sera collected 12 months after vaccination. The detected MOPA titers were high in comparison to the IgG concentrations 1 month after immunization. The IgM concentrations were higher than IgG concentrations for serotypes 6A and 14 (P < 0.001) and as high as IgG for serotypes 9V, 19F, and 23F. Correlation of the IgM antibody concentrations with MOPA (r = 0.35 to 0.65) was stronger compared to that of the IgG antibodies (r = 0.07 to 0.41). The depletion of IgG antibodies in three sets of pooled sera only slightly decreased the OPA activity against serotype 14. At 12 months after immunization, 50 to 100% of serum samples still showed detectable MOPA activity against serotypes 6A, 14, and 19F. Our results suggest that IgM contributes to OPA 1 month after a single PCV9 vaccination in toddlers and that functionally active IgM and IgG antibodies persist for at least a year.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/CVI.00248-12DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3485875PMC
October 2012

Adenoidectomy in young children and serum IgG antibodies to pneumococcal surface protein A and choline binding protein A.

Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol 2012 Nov 24;76(11):1569-74. Epub 2012 Jul 24.

Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Helsinki University Central Hospital, Finland.

Objective: We have previously reported that surgical removal of the nasopharyngeal adenoid in young children resulted in increased risk of nasopharyngeal colonization by pneumococci. We now investigated whether adenoidectomy influences the development of serum IgG antibodies to pneumococcal choline-binding protein A (CbpA) and pneumococcal surface protein A (PspA).

Methods: Altogether 217 children aged 12-48 months who had recurrent or persistent otitis media were randomized to undergo or not to undergo adenoidectomy. All the children underwent insertion of tympanostomy tubes. 166 children were followed-up for 3 years. The main outcome measures were concentrations of serum IgG antibodies to CbpA and PspA three years after randomization. Nasopharyngeal colonization by pneumococci was assessed 1, 2, and 3 years after randomization.

Results: Adenoidectomy decreased concentrations of CbpA antibodies by ca. 25% independently of the observed increase in pneumococcal carriage (OR of log(10) transformed concentrations 0.74, 95% CI 0.58-0.94, P=0.016). Concentrations of PspA antibodies were lower and they seemed not to be influenced by adenoidectomy.

Conclusions: Adenoidectomy in young children causes a small but detectable impairment in the development of serum IgG antibodies to pneumococcal CbpA. The adenoid seems to have a role in augmenting systemic immunity against pneumococci.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijporl.2012.07.013DOI Listing
November 2012

Immunity after (re)vaccination of paediatric patients following haematopoietic stem cell transplantation.

Acta Paediatr 2012 Aug 16;101(8):e373-7. Epub 2012 May 16.

Division of Hematology-Oncology and Stem Cell Transplantation, Children's Hospital, Helsinki University Central Hospital, Helsinki, Finland.

Aims: Loss of specific immunity follows allogeneic haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) in the majority of cases. Responses to (re)vaccinations can be used as indicators of a functional immunological recovery.

Methods: Twenty-three paediatric recipients of HSCT were enrolled in a single centre setting and responses to scheduled immunizations analysed.

Results: Immunity to vaccine-preventable diseases was impaired post HSCT, but (re)vaccinations induced protective responses in 59-100%, depending on the vaccine, regardless of prior graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) history.

Conclusion: Despite the marked impact of moderate to severe chronic prior GVHD on both the qualitative and quantitative T-cell recovery post allogenic HSCT, most paediatric recipients of allogeneic stem cell grafts appear to attain protective antibody levels after immunization.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1651-2227.2012.02710.xDOI Listing
August 2012

Genotypic and phenotypic characterization of carriage and invasive disease isolates of Neisseria meningitidis in Finland.

J Clin Microbiol 2012 Feb 30;50(2):264-73. Epub 2011 Nov 30.

Institute of Diagnostics, Department of Medical Microbiology, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland.

The relationship between carriage and the development of invasive meningococcal disease is not fully understood. We investigated the changes in meningococcal carriage in 892 military recruits in Finland during a nonepidemic period (July 2004 to January 2006) and characterized all of the oropharyngeal meningococcal isolates obtained (n = 215) by using phenotypic (serogrouping and serotyping) and genotypic (porA typing and multilocus sequence typing) methods. For comparison, 84 invasive meningococcal disease strains isolated in Finland between January 2004 and February 2006 were also analyzed. The rate of meningococcal carriage was significantly higher at the end of military service than on arrival (18% versus 2.2%; P < 0.001). Seventy-four percent of serogroupable carriage isolates belonged to serogroup B, and 24% belonged to serogroup Y. Most carriage isolates belonged to the carriage-associated ST-60 clonal complex. However, 21.5% belonged to the hyperinvasive ST-41/44 clonal complex. Isolates belonging to the ST-23 clonal complex were cultured more often from oropharyngeal samples taken during the acute phase of respiratory infection than from samples taken at health examinations at the beginning and end of military service (odds ratio [OR], 6.7; 95% confidence interval [95% CI], 2.7 to 16.4). The ST-32 clonal complex was associated with meningococcal disease (OR, 17.8; 95% CI, 3.8 to 81.2), while the ST-60 clonal complex was associated with carriage (OR, 10.7; 95% CI, 3.3 to 35.2). These findings point to the importance of meningococcal vaccination for military recruits and also to the need for an efficacious vaccine against serogroup B isolates.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JCM.05385-11DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3264188PMC
February 2012

Association of serotype-specific antibody concentrations and functional antibody titers with subsequent pneumococcal carriage in toddlers immunized with a 9-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine.

Clin Vaccine Immunol 2012 Jan 9;19(1):96-9. Epub 2011 Nov 9.

Department of Vaccination and Immune Protection, National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL), Helsinki, Finland.

Association of pneumococcal nasopharyngeal carriage with the concentration and opsonophagocytic activity (OPA) of serum serotype-specific antibodies was determined for toddlers 1 month after immunization with a 9-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine. Higher anti-serotype 14 and anti-serotype 19F IgG and anti-serotype 14 IgM correlated with a lowered probability of pneumococcal acquisition. Postvaccination OPA did not correlate with pneumococcal carriage.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/CVI.05369-11DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3255944PMC
January 2012

Mother-infant vaccination with pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine: persistence of maternal antibodies and responses of infants to vaccination.

Vaccine 2011 Jun 6;29(28):4565-75. Epub 2011 May 6.

National Institute for Health and Welfare, P.O. Box 30, FI-00271 Helsinki, Finland.

Protection against pneumococcal infection early in life is needed. This could be achieved by maternal vaccination or by starting infant vaccinations as early as possible. In an open controlled study, pregnant women received both 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPV), Haemophilus influenzae type b conjugate vaccine and tetanus toxoid or tetanus toxoid alone. Infants received PPV at 7 or 17 weeks and the second dose at 3 years of age. Antibodies to six pneumococcal serotypes were measured with the non-22F and 22F enzyme immunoassays (EIA). Elevated antibody concentrations after maternal vaccination persisted in infants until 4 months of age. Infants responded to serotypes 1 and 5, but not to serotypes 6B, 14, 18C and 19F. High maternal antibody concentrations at early age reduced the responses, but not the antibody concentrations, of infants to PPV. The percentages of infants with concentrations >0.35 μg/ml and >1 μg/ml were high at birth, but decreased by age during the first 10 months of life. Revaccination with PPV at 3 years of age induced a good immune response.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vaccine.2011.04.068DOI Listing
June 2011

Aging reduces the functionality of anti-pneumococcal antibodies and the killing of Streptococcus pneumoniae by neutrophil phagocytosis.

Vaccine 2011 Feb 12;29(10):1929-34. Epub 2011 Jan 12.

Department of Vaccination and Immune Protection, National Institute for Health and Welfare, Mannerheimintie 166, 00300 Helsinki, Finland.

We evaluated the effect of aging on the functional activity of naturally acquired anti-pneumococcal antibodies, the function of neutrophils in phagocytic killing of opsonized pneumococci, and the complement activity. Opsonic activities of antibodies to all tested pneumococcal serotypes were significantly lower and phagocytic killing of pneumococci by neutrophils was significantly impaired among the elderly, whereas the complement activity was slightly higher in the elderly than in the young adults. The reduced functional activity of serotype-specific antibodies and the compromised function of neutrophils in the opsonophagocytosis of pneumococci are likely to contribute to the increased susceptibility of the elderly to pneumococcal diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vaccine.2010.12.121DOI Listing
February 2011

Impact of the conjugation method on the immunogenicity of Streptococcus pneumoniae serotype 19F polysaccharide in conjugate vaccines.

Clin Vaccine Immunol 2011 Feb 1;18(2):327-36. Epub 2010 Dec 1.

Research & Development, GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals, Rue de l'Institut 89, B-1330 Rixensart, Belgium.

7vCRM (Pfizer, Inc.) and PHiD-CV (GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals) are two pneumococcal conjugate vaccines licensed for the prevention of invasive pneumococcal disease and acute otitis media caused by the vaccine serotypes of Streptococcus pneumoniae. Neither vaccine contains serotype 19A, but both contain the closely related serotype 19F. No decrease in the incidence of serotype 19A disease has been observed following the introduction of 7vCRM, suggesting that this serotype 19F-containing vaccine provides limited cross-protection against serotype 19A. To investigate the impact that conjugation methods may have on antipolysaccharide immune responses and to determine whether this limited cross-protection is characteristic of the serotype 19F polysaccharide or rather of the 19F-CRM (cross-reacting material) conjugate, we compared naturally induced antibodies against serotypes 19F and 19A with antibodies induced after vaccination with different pneumococcal conjugate vaccines. We found that conjugation of the serotype 19F polysaccharide using reductive amination (as in 7vCRM) resulted in the formation of at least one additional epitope that is not present in the native form of the 19F polysaccharide or following 19F conjugation using a bifunctional spacer (as in the prototype vaccine 7vOMPC) or cyanylation (as in PHiD-CV). We also found that pneumococcal vaccines conjugated using cyanylation induce more opsonophagocytic antibodies against serotype 19F and a considerably higher level of cross-opsonophagocytic antibodies against serotype 19A than vaccines conjugated using reductive amination. In conclusion, these results suggest that the conjugation method can influence the functionality of the antibodies induced against the homologous serotype 19F and the cross-reactive serotype 19A of S. pneumoniae.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/CVI.00402-10DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3067356PMC
February 2011

Multilaboratory comparison of Streptococcus pneumoniae opsonophagocytic killing assays and their level of agreement for the determination of functional antibody activity in human reference sera.

Clin Vaccine Immunol 2011 Jan 17;18(1):135-42. Epub 2010 Nov 17.

Biostatistics Office, DBD, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Building 1, Room 5044, MS C-09, 1600 Clifton Road, Atlanta, GA 30333, USA.

Antibody-mediated killing of Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus) by phagocytes is an important mechanism of protection of the human host against pneumococcal infections. Measurement of opsonophagocytic antibodies by use of a standardized opsonophagocytic assay (OPA) is important for the evaluation of candidate vaccines and required for the licensure of new pneumococcal conjugate vaccine formulations. We assessed agreement among six laboratories that used their own optimized OPAs on a panel of 16 human reference sera for 13 pneumococcal serotypes. Consensus titers, estimated using an analysis-of-variance (ANOVA) mixed-effects model, provided a common reference for assessing agreement among these laboratories. Agreement was evaluated in terms of assay accuracy, reproducibility, repeatability, precision, and bias. We also reviewed four acceptance criterion intervals for assessing the comparability of protocols when assaying the same reference sera. The precision, accuracy, and concordance results among laboratories and the consensus titers revealed acceptable agreement. The results of this study indicate that the bioassays evaluated in this study are robust, and the resultant OPA values are reproducible for the determination of functional antibody titers specific to 13 pneumococcal serotypes when performed by laboratories using highly standardized but not identical assays. The statistical methodologies employed in this study may serve as a template for evaluating future multilaboratory studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/CVI.00370-10DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3019776PMC
January 2011

Serotype-related variation in susceptibility to complement deposition and opsonophagocytosis among clinical isolates of Streptococcus pneumoniae.

Infect Immun 2010 Dec 20;78(12):5252-61. Epub 2010 Sep 20.

National Institute for Health and Welfare, Department of Vaccination and Immune Protection, Helsinki, Finland.

The polysaccharide capsule is a major virulence factor of Streptococcus pneumoniae; it affects complement resistance and shields the bacterium from phagocytes. Certain capsular serotypes appear to be better able to cause invasive disease than others. Serotypes 1 and 5 are common causes of invasive disease but are rarely isolated from healthy carriers, whereas serotypes 6B and 23F are more frequently isolated from carriage than invasive disease. We have recently shown that serotypes 6B and 19F differ in resistance to complement C3 deposition and opsonophagocytic killing. In this study we assessed the complement resistance and susceptibility to opsonophagocytosis of several other serotypes targeted by the pneumococcal conjugate vaccines. Clinical isolates of serotypes 1, 4, 5, 14, 18C, and 23F were tested along reference strains of corresponding capsular types. The concentration of anticapsular antibodies required for opsonophagocytic killing correlated inversely with C3 deposition on the serotype. Serotype 1 was the most resistant of the clinical isolates to C3 deposition and, along with serotypes 5 and 19F, required the highest concentration of capsule antibodies for opsonophagocytic killing, whereas serotype 23F was the most sensitive to opsonophagocytosis. Sensitivity to C3 deposition and opsonophagocytosis was associated with serotype-specific mortality of invasive pneumococcal disease, suggesting that the primary pathogens, such as serotypes 1 and 5, are more resistant to complement and require a higher concentration of capsule antibodies for opsonophagocytic killing than the opportunistic serotypes such as 6B and 23F, which are associated with a more severe disease outcome.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/IAI.00739-10DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2981318PMC
December 2010

The capsular serotype of Streptococcus pneumoniae is more important than the genetic background for resistance to complement.

Infect Immun 2010 Dec 20;78(12):5262-70. Epub 2010 Sep 20.

National Institute for Health and Welfare, Department of Vaccination and Immune Protection, Helsinki, Finland.

The polysaccharide capsule of Streptococcus pneumoniae inhibits phagocytic killing by innate immune mechanisms. Certain serotypes are associated with invasive disease while others with a nasopharyngeal carriage. The invasiveness of serotypes may partly be explained by ability to resist deposition of complement (C3) on the bacterial surface and consequent opsonophagocytic killing. In our previous studies, we observed that clinical isolates of serotypes 1 and 5, which are rarely detected in asymptomatic carriage, were resistant to complement deposition and opsonophagocytosis, whereas serotypes 6B and 23F, both common in carriage, were more sensitive to deposition of C3 and opsonophagocytic killing. However, presence of significant variation in C3 deposition between isolates of the same serotype indicated that factors other than the capsule also affect complement resistance. To distinguish the relative effect of the capsular serotype and other virulence factors on C3 deposition, we compared capsule-switched mutants prepared in genetic backgrounds of pneumococcal strains TIGR4, 603, and 618. Clinical isolates which had the same multilocus sequence type but expressed different serotypes were also compared. We found that the serotype had a significant impact on complement resistance and that the more resistant the strain was to complement, the higher was the concentration of polysaccharide-specific antibodies required for opsonophagocytic killing. Comparison of strains expressing the same capsular polysaccharides in the different genetic backgrounds and various capsular mutants of the same strain suggests that while the genotype affects complement resistance, the serotype is the most important determinant. Differences between serotypes were more significant than the differences between strains.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/IAI.00740-10DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2981297PMC
December 2010