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1.  Pertussis Toxin Improves Immune Responses to a Combined Pneumococcal Antigen and Leads to Enhanced Protection against Streptococcus pneumoniae 
Pneumococcal surface protein A (PspA) is a candidate antigen for the composition of protein-based vaccines against Streptococcus pneumoniae. While searching for efficient adjuvants for PspA-based vaccines, our group has described the potential of combining PspA with the whole-cell pertussis vaccine (wP). When given to mice through the nasal route, a formulation composed of PspA from clade 5 (PspA5) and wP (PspA5-wP) induced high levels of antibodies and protection against challenges with different pneumococcal strains. PspA5-wP also induced the secretion of interleukin 17 (IL-17) by splenocytes and the infiltration of leukocytes in the lungs after challenge. Here, we show that protection against a pneumococcal invasive challenge was completely abrogated in μMT−/− mice, which are deficient in the maturation of B cells, illustrating the importance of antibodies in the survival elicited by the PspA5-wP vaccine. Moreover, passive immunization showed that IgG purified from the sera of mice immunized with PspA5-wP conferred significant protection to naive mice, whereas the respective F(ab′)2 did not. Additionally, in vivo depletion of complement abolished protection against the pneumococcal challenge. The combination of PspA5 with wild-type or mutant Bordetella pertussis strains or with purified components showed that the pertussis toxin (PT)-containing formulations induced the highest levels of antibodies and protection. This suggests that the adjuvant activity of wP in the PspA5 model is mediated at least in part by PT. The sera from mice immunized with such formulations displayed high IgG binding and induction of complement deposition on the pneumococcal surface in vitro, which is consistent with the in vivo results.
doi:10.1128/CVI.00134-14
PMCID: PMC4097443  PMID: 24807055

Results 1-3 (3)