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Clin Diagn Lab Immunol. 2001 Mar;8(2):363-9.

Are the opsonophagocytic activities of antibodies in infant sera measured by different pneumococcal phagocytosis assays comparable?

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National Public Health Institute, Mannerheimintie 166, FIN-00300 Helsinki, Finland.


Host protection against Streptococcus pneumoniae is mainly mediated by opsonin-dependent phagocytosis. Several techniques for measuring opsonophagocytic activity (OPA) of antibodies to S. pneumoniae have been standardized and used. These include the viable cell-assay, flow-cytometric assays, and an assay utilizing radiolabeled bacteria. Using these different methods, we measured the OPA of antibodies to S. pneumoniae types 6B and 19F from the sera of infants immunized with a pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, PncCRM. Generally, the results obtained by the various techniques correlated well, although serotype-specific differences were found (6B, r = 0.78 to 0.95, P < 0.001; 19F, r = 0.50 to 0.84, P < 0.001). The same serotype-specific differences were observed for the relationship between the concentrations of specific immunoglobulin G antibodies measured by enzyme immunoassay and the OPA. Since the sensitivities of the OPA assays differed, the most prominent discrepancies between the techniques were found at low antibody concentrations.

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