Logo of epidinfectJournal HomepageSubscribeSumbitJournal Homepage
Epidemiol Infect. Oct 2005; 133(5): 883–889.
Published online Apr 25, 2005. doi:  10.1017/S0950268805004097
PMCID: PMC2870320

Influence of age and carriage status on salivary IgA to Neisseria meningitidis.


Asymptomatic carriage of Neisseria meningitidis is common (5-35% of individuals) while the incidence of invasive meningococcal disease is fairly low (<1-5 per 100,000 per annum in Europe). Naturally acquired protective immunity may account for this difference. In this study, we investigated the relationship between anti-meningococcal salivary IgA and age and carriage. We showed that salivary IgA to a range of meningococcal antigens increased successively with age with some specificity for commonly circulating serosubtypes. In a group of 258 students 37 (14%) of whom were carriers of N. meningitidis serogroup B, higher levels of specific IgA were associated with carriage. Stratified analysis revealed a positive relationship between smoking and specific anti- N. meningitidis IgA independent of current carriage, weighted odds ratio (OR) 4.1 (95% CI 1.1-18) and OR 3.8 (95% CI 0.96-16) for reference strains B:1:P1.14 and B:4:P1.5,4 respectively. These data implicate IgA as a factor in host defence from meningococcal invasion, although the precise mechanisms remain uncertain.

Full Text

The Full Text of this article is available as a PDF (125K).

Articles from Epidemiology and Infection are provided here courtesy of Cambridge University Press


Related citations in PubMed

See reviews...See all...

Cited by other articles in PMC

See all...


Recent Activity

Your browsing activity is empty.

Activity recording is turned off.

Turn recording back on

See more...