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FEMS Microbiol Lett. 2007 Apr;269(2):189-95. Epub 2007 Mar 13.

The genetic background of Streptococcus pneumoniae affects protection in mice immunized with PspA.

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Department of Microbiology, The University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, MS 39216, USA.


Anti-PspA antibodies are less efficient at protecting mice against certain pneumococcal strains. Immunization with PspA from EF5668 provided better protection against WU2 (a different capsular serotype and PspA family) than against EF5668. To understand the role of the pneumococcal genetic background in anti-PspA-mediated protection, we constructed a mutant of WU2 expressing pspA from EF5668. Both passive and active immunization demonstrated that the genetic background impacted the protection mediated by anti-PspA antibodies. We localized the protection-eliciting region to the first 122 amino acid residues of the N-terminus of the alpha-helical domain of PspA/EF5668.

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