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PLoS One. 2013 Apr 8;8(4):e60583. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0060583. Print 2013.

Head-to-head comparison of humoral immune responses to Vi capsular polysaccharide and Salmonella Typhi Ty21a typhoid vaccines--a randomized trial.

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Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, Helsinki University Central Hospital, Helsinki, Finland.



The two typhoid vaccines, the parenteral Vi capsular polysaccharide and the oral live whole-cell Salmonella Typhi Ty21a vaccine, provide similar levels of protection in field trials. Sharing no antigens, they are thought to confer protection by different mechanisms. This is the first head-to-head study to compare the humoral immune responses to these two vaccines.


50 age- and gender-matched volunteers were immunized, 25 with the Vi and 25 with the Ty21a vaccine. Circulating plasmablasts reactive with whole-cell Salmonella Typhi or one of the typhoidal antigenic structures, Vi, O-9,12, and H-d antigens, were identified as antibody-secreting cells (ASC) with ELISPOT. Homing receptor (HR) expressions were determined. These results were compared with ASC in four patients with typhoid fever. Antibodies to S. Typhi lipopolysaccharides were assessed in cultures of ALS (antibodies in lymphocyte supernatants) and in serum with ELISA.


In 49 out of 50 vaccinees, no typhoid-specific plasmablasts were seen before vaccination. On day 7, response to Vi antigen was mounted in 24/25 volunteers in the Vi, and none in the Ty21a group; response to S. Typhi and O-9,12 was mounted in 49/50 vaccinees; and to H-d in 3/50. The numbers of typhoid-specific plasmablasts (total of ASC to Vi, O-9,12 and H-d antigens) proved equal in the vaccination groups. The HR expressions indicated a mainly systemic homing in the Vi and intestinal in the Ty21a group, the latter resembling that in natural infection. Plasmablasts proved more sensitive than serum and ALS in assessing the immune response.


The typhoid-specific humoral responses to Vi and Ty21a vaccines are similar in magnitude, but differ in expected localization and antigen-specificity. The unforeseen O antigen-specific response in the Vi group is probably due to lipopolysaccharide contaminating the vaccine preparation. Only the response to Ty21a vaccine was found to imitate that in natural infection.


Current Controlled Trials Ltd. c/o BioMed Central ISRCTN68125331.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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