Display Settings:

Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Science. 2012 Mar 16;335(6074):1376-80. doi: 10.1126/science.1215947. Epub 2012 Mar 1.

Niche and neutral effects of acquired immunity permit coexistence of pneumococcal serotypes.

Author information

  • 1Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics and Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA 02115, USA. scobey@hsph.harvard.edu

Abstract

Over 90 capsular serotypes of Streptococcus pneumoniae, a common nasopharyngeal colonizer and major cause of pneumonia, bacteremia, and meningitis, are known. It is unclear why some serotypes can persist at all: They are more easily cleared from carriage and compete poorly in vivo. Serotype-specific immune responses, which could promote diversity in principle, are weak enough to allow repeated colonizations by the same type. We show that weak serotype-specific immunity and an acquired response not specific to the capsule can together reproduce observed diversity. Serotype-specific immunity stabilizes competition, and acquired immunity to noncapsular antigens reduces fitness differences. Our model can be used to explain the effects of pneumococcal vaccination and indicates general factors that regulate the diversity of pathogens.

PMID:
22383809
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3341938
Free PMC Article

Images from this publication.See all images (3)Free text

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk