Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
PLoS One. 2013 Oct 11;8(10):e75944. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0075944. eCollection 2013.

Polysaccharide responsiveness is not biased by prior pneumococcal-conjugate vaccination.

Author information

  • 1Department of Clinical Immunology, Aalborg Hospital, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark.


Polysaccharide responsiveness is tested by measuring antibody responses to polysaccharide vaccines to diagnose for humoral immunodeficiency. A common assumption is that this responsiveness is biased by any previous exposure to the polysaccharides in the form of protein-coupled polysaccharide vaccines, such as those used in many childhood vaccination programmes. To examine this assumption, we investigated the effect of protein-coupled polysaccharide vaccination on subsequent polysaccharide responsiveness. HIV-infected adults (n = 47) were vaccinated twice with protein-coupled polysaccharides and six months later with pure polysaccharides. We measured immunoglobulin G responses against three polysaccharides present in only the polysaccharide vaccine (non-memory polysaccharides) and seven recurring polysaccharides (memory polysaccharides). Responsiveness was evaluated according to the consensus guidelines published by the American immunology societies. Impaired responsiveness to non-memory polysaccharides was more frequent than to memory polysaccharides (51% versus 28%, P = 0.015), but the individual polysaccharides did not differ in triggering sufficient responses (74% versus 77%, P = 0.53). Closer analysis revealed important shortcomings of the current evaluation guidelines. The interpreted responses number and their specificities influenced the likelihood of impaired responsiveness in a complex manor. This influence was propelled by the dichotomous approaches inherent to the American guidelines. We therefore define a novel more robust polysaccharide responsiveness measure, the Z-score, which condenses multiple, uniformly weighted responses into one continuous variable. Using the Z-score, responsiveness to non-memory polysaccharides and memory-polysaccharides were found to correlate (R(2) = 0.59, P<0.0001). We found that polysaccharide responsiveness was not biased by prior protein-coupled polysaccharide vaccination in HIV-infected adults. Studies in additional populations are warranted.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Public Library of Science Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk