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A vaccine that protects against Moraxella catarrhalis infection would prevent a substantial global burden of disease, including otitis media (ear infections) in children and respiratory tract infection in adults with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Murphy et al. (e00130-17) have identified a highly conserved substrate binding protein of an ABC transporter system, AfeA, which binds essential cations and expresses epitopes on the bacterial surface. Immunization with purified recombinant AfeA induces protective immune responses in mice. AfeA is an excellent candidate antigen for a vaccine to prevent infections caused by M. catarrhalis.
A reference serum (89SF) containing known amounts of IgG specific for 23 different pneumococcal capsular polysaccharides has been critical for evaluating pneumococcal vaccines since it was established in 1990. This serum was replaced in 2013 with a new internationally accepted reference serum, 007sp. New extended valency pneumococcal conjugate vaccines with up to 20 serotypes are currently in development; hence, the need to assign values to 007sp for all relevant serotypes has assumed increasing importance. This study from Goldblatt and colleagues (e00194-17) completes the assignment of serotype-specific IgG values in 007sp for 23 of the most relevant pneumococcal serotypes.