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J Infect Dis. 2001 Mar 15;183(6):887-96. Epub 2001 Feb 21.

Pneumococcal carriage and otitis media induce salivary antibodies to pneumococcal surface adhesin a, pneumolysin, and pneumococcal surface protein a in children.

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  • 1Department of Vaccines, National Public Health Institute, Helsinki, Finland.


Local antibodies probably contribute to defense against Streptococcus pneumoniae. This study examined whether pneumococcal carriage and acute otitis media (AOM) induce mucosal antibodies to potential vaccine candidates pneumococcal surface adhesin A (PsaA), pneumolysin (Ply), and pneumococcal surface protein A (PspA). IgA to all 3 proteins was detected by EIA in saliva of 329 children at ages 6, 12, 18, and 24 months and of 17 adults. A higher proportion of IgA-positive samples and higher antibody concentrations were seen in children with pneumococci-positive cultures of nasopharyngeal samples or middle ear fluid than in children with all cultures negative for pneumococci. The strong correlation between IgA and the presence of the secretory component suggests that the IgA was secretory. The findings indicate that pneumococcal carriage and AOM induce local production of anti-PsaA, anti-Ply, and anti-PspA antibodies early in life.

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