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Clin Microbiol Infect. 2010 Aug;16(8):1312-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-0691.2009.03073.x. Epub 2009 Oct 14.

Induction of antibodies by Staphylococcus aureus nasal colonization in young children.

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Department of Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, Erasmus MC, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.


In order to develop novel antistaphylococcal strategies, understanding the determinants of carriage and how humans respond to Staphylococcus aureus exposure is essential. Here, the primary S. aureus-specific humoral immune response and its association with nasal colonization was studied in young children. Sera from 57 colonized or non-colonized children, serially collected at birth and at 6, 14 and 24 months, were analysed for IgG, IgA and IgM binding to 19 staphylococcal proteins, using flow cytometry-based technology. The antibody responses showed extensive inter-individual variability. On average, the levels of antistaphylococcal IgA and IgM increased from birth until the age of 2 years (p <0.05), whereas the levels of IgG decreased (p <0.001). Placentally transferred maternal IgG did not protect against colonization. In colonized children, IgG and IgA levels for a number of proteins were higher than in non-colonized children. At both 14 and 24 months, the levels of IgG against chemotaxis inhibitory protein of S. aureus (at 24 months; median fluorescence intensity, 4928 vs. 24, p <0.05), extracellular fibrinogen-binding protein (987 vs. 604, p <0.05), and iron-responsive surface determinant H (62 vs. 5, p <0.05) were significantly higher in colonized children. The levels of IgA against CHIPS, IsdH and IsdA were higher (p <0.05). Therefore, CHIPS, Efb, IsdA and IsdH seem to play a role in nasal colonization of young children.

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