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J Clin Pathol. 2007 Apr;60(4):345-50. Epub 2006 Sep 1.

Anti-pneumococcal antibody titre measurement: what useful information does it yield?

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  • 1Vaccine Evaluation Unit, Health Protection Agency North West, Manchester Laboratory, Manchester Royal Infirmary, Manchester, UK.


Measuring and interpretation of the immune response to pneumococcal polysaccharides is a complex field, owing to the diversity of the pneumococcal polysaccharide capsular types, different vaccine formulations including both polysaccharide and conjugate vaccines, diverse pneumococcal serological assays, lack of immunogenicity data for the conjugate in a number of at-risk groups and complex vaccine schedules. Even the reasons for performing pneumococcal serology can be complex, as assays may be performed for one of two reasons: either to assess an individual's immune status to the pneumococcus or to discriminate between normal and abnormal humoral immunity. This review details a history of the pneumococcal serological assays and provides some insight into when serology can prove useful, including vaccination data for certain at-risk groups.

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