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FEMS Immunol Med Microbiol. 2003 Aug 18;38(1):1-7.

Novel vaccine strategies with protein antigens of Streptococcus pneumoniae.

Author information

1
Department of Microbiology, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, MS, USA. swed@sprintmail.com

Abstract

Infections caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus) are a major cause of mortality throughout the world. This organism is primarily a commensal in the upper respiratory tract of humans, but can cause pneumonia in high-risk persons and disseminate from the lungs by invasion of the bloodstream. Currently, prevention of pneumococcal infections is by immunization with vaccines which contain capsular polysaccharides from the most common serotypes causing invasive disease. However, there are more than 90 antigenically distinct serotypes and there is concern that serotypes not included in the vaccines may become more prevalent in the face of continued use of polysaccharide vaccines. Also, certain high-risk groups have poor immunological responses to some of the polysaccharides in the vaccine formulations. Protein antigens that are conserved across all capsular serotypes would induce more effective and durable humoral immune responses and could potentially protect against all clinically relevant pneumococcal capsular types. This review provides a summary of work on pneumococcal proteins that are being investigated as components for future generations of improved pneumococcal vaccines.

PMID:
12900048
DOI:
10.1016/S0928-8244(03)00146-9
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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