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J Infect Dis. 1988 Apr;157(4):723-30.

Purified capsular polysaccharide-induced immunity to Staphylococcus aureus infection.

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Channing Laboratory, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts 02115.


In this study, we determined that immunization with capsular polysaccharide from Staphylococcus aureus could protect mice against nonlethal infections induced by encapsulated staphylococci. We immunized mice with either formalin-killed bacteria or purified capsular polysaccharide (PCP) and challenged them with one of three related S. aureus strains that varied in capsule size. Quantitative cultures of blood and kidney from the animals were performed to evaluate protection. Immunization with whole bacteria protected mice against infection with the homologous strain. Mice immunized with PCP were protected when challenged intravenously with either a highly encapsulated S. aureus strain or a microencapsulated mutant but not with an unencapsulated mutant. Protection correlated with capsular antibody levels in the immunized animals. Immunity to staphylococcal infection could be passively transferred to naive animals by using immune serum. These experiments suggest that the S. aureus capsular polysaccharide merits further study as a potential vaccine candidate for preventing staphylococcal infection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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