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Immunology. 1990 Mar;69(3):443-8.

A thymus-independent (type 1) phosphorylcholine antigen isolated from Trichinella spiralis protects mice against pneumococcal infection.

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Department of Microbiology, University of Hong Kong.


A phosphorylcholine (PC)-containing glycoprotein of 68,000 molecular weight (MW) was isolated from Trichinella spiralis. The potential of this antigen (Tsp) as a species-specific vaccine against Streptococcus pneumoniae was studied in both immunologically deficient (CBA/N) and normal (CFW) mice. Unlike the PC determinant found in S. pneumoniae, Tsp is a type 1 thymus-independent (TI-1) antigen, as it was able to stimulate PC-specific antibody production in CBA/N animals, though less well than in CFW mice. Immunological memory to this antigen was observed in both strains of mice, and the predominant class of antibodies formed was IgM. In further studies, Tsp-immunized CFW mice were protected against a fatal challenge of S. pneumoniae type 3. Protection in these animals is probably mediated by the PC-specific antibodies present, which comprised 87.9% of antibodies reactive to S. pneumoniae, or 58.7% of total antibodies formed.

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