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Crit Rev Microbiol. 2003;29(4):333-49.

Protective immunity of pneumococcal glycoconjugates.

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Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, Rockville, MD 20852-1448, USA.


Pneumococcal polysaccharides (PSs), designated as T-cell independent type 2 (TI-2) antigens, induce poor immune responses in young children. Splenic marginal zone B cells, associated with CD21, CD19 and C3d, play an important role in TI-2 antibody responses, and provide host defense against bacterial pathogens. Antibody response, avidity, and opsonophagocytic activity of antisera were examined in mice immunized with type 9V PS conjugated to inactivated pneulmolysin (Ply) or to autolysin (Aly). Compared to mice given 9V PS alone, serum IgG and IgM concentrations against the 9V PS were higher in mice immunized with conjugates. High concentrations of serum antibodies were maintained for over 12 weeks. The relative avidities of IgG and IgM antibodies and opsonophagocytic activity against 9V pneumococci were high in mice immunized with conjugates. Thus, conjugate vaccines can induce high as well as long duration of antibody response and effective functional activity. In another study, mice received intranasal immunization with type 9V conjugate or 9V PS. These animals produced 9V PS IgG and IgA antibodies in their serum, spleen, intestine, lung, Peyer's patch and fecal extract samples. Mice immunized with these glycoconjugates exhibited opsonophagocytic activity and rapid bacterial clearance from blood and provided homologous and cross-protection against challenge with virulent pneumococci. These results indicate that intranasal immunization with glycoconjugate vaccines may serve as an alternative and convenient approach for prevention of pneumococcal infection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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