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J Infect Dis. 2004 Oct 1;190(7):1254-63. Epub 2004 Aug 31.

Cross-reactivity of human immunoglobulin G2 recognizing phosphorylcholine and evidence for protection against major bacterial pathogens of the human respiratory tract.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6076, USA.


Phosphorylcholine (ChoP) is an antigenic component on the cell surface of many commensal and pathogenic bacteria that reside in the upper airway. In the present study, human ChoP-specific antibody was affinity-purified from pooled serum gamma globulin. This naturally acquired antibody, which is primarily of the immunoglobulin (Ig) G2 subtype, recognized ChoP on the lipoteichoic acid of Streptococcus pneumoniae and on the lipopolysaccharide of Haemophilus influenzae, 2 of the leading etiologic agents of infection involving the human respiratory tract. In in vitro killing assays, anti-ChoP IgG2 was effective against some clinical isolates of nontypeable H. influenzae and against isolates of several common serotypes of S. pneumoniae. Moreover, passively administered human anti-ChoP antibody protected mice against lethal challenge with a transparent isolate of S. pneumoniae type 6A. The effectiveness of human antibody to this conserved bacterial structure suggests that, if it can be manipulated to broaden its activity, it could function as a single vaccine antigen that targets multiple pathogens.

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