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1.  Differential B-Cell Memory Around the 11-Month Booster in Children Vaccinated With a 10- or 13-Valent Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine 
Infants vaccinated with the 10- or 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine at 2, 3, 4, and 11 months had similar serotype-specific immunoglobulin G levels and plasma cell frequencies against 4 shared serotypes around these boosters, but higher memory B-cell frequencies in the PCV13 group.
Background. Both the 10- and 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (PCV10 and PCV13) induce immunological memory against Streptococcus pneumoniae infections caused by vaccine serotypes. In addition to comparing serum antibody levels, we investigated frequencies of serotype-specific plasma cells (PCs) and memory B-cells (Bmems) as potential predictors of long-term immunity around the booster vaccination at 11 months of age.
Methods. Infants were immunized with PCV10 or PCV13 at 2, 3, 4, and 11 months of age. Blood was collected before the 11-month booster or 7–9 days afterward. Serotype-specific immunoglobulin G (IgG) levels were determined in serum samples by multiplex immunoassay. Circulating specific PCs and Bmems against shared serotypes 1, 6B, 7F, and 19F and against PCV13 serotypes 6A and 19A were measured in peripheral blood mononuclear cells by enzyme-linked immunospot assay.
Results. No major differences in IgG levels and PC frequencies between groups were found for the 4 shared serotypes. Notably, PCV13 vaccination resulted in higher frequencies of Bmems than PCV10 vaccination, both before and after the booster dose, for all 4 shared serotypes except for serotype 1 postbooster. For PCV13-specific serotypes 6A and 19A, the IgG levels and frequencies of PCs and Bmems were higher in the PCV13 group, pre- and postbooster, except for PC frequencies prebooster.
Conclusions. Both PCVs are immunogenic and induce measurable IgG, PC, and Bmem booster responses at 11 months. Compared to PCV10, vaccination with PCV13 was associated with overall similar IgG levels and PC frequencies but with higher Bmem frequencies before and after the 11-month booster. The clinical implications of these results need further follow-up.
Clinical Trials Registration. NTR3069.
PMCID: PMC4503810  PMID: 25838290
pneumococcal conjugate vaccine; PCV10; PHiD-CV; PCV13; memory B cells
3.  Long-Term Effects of Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine on Nasopharyngeal Carriage of S. pneumoniae, S. aureus, H. influenzae and M. catarrhalis 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(6):e39730.
Shifts in pneumococcal serotypes following introduction of 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV-7) may alter the presence of other bacterial pathogens co-inhabiting the same nasopharyngeal niche.
Methodology/Principal Findings
Nasopharyngeal prevalence rates of S. pneumoniae, S. aureus, H. influenzae and M. catarrhalis were investigated before, 3 and 4.5 years after introduction of PCV-7 in the national immunisation program in children at 11 and 24 months of age, and parents of 24-month-old children (n≈330/group) using conventional culture methods. Despite a virtual disappearance of PCV-7 serotypes over time, similar overall pneumococcal rates were observed in all age groups, except for a significant reduction in the 11-month-old group (adjusted Odds Ratio after 4.5 years 0.48, 95% Confidence Interval 0.34–0.67). Before, 3 and 4.5 years after PCV-7 implementation, prevalence rates of S. aureus were 5%, 9% and 14% at 11 months of age (3.59, 1.90–6.79) and 20%, 32% and 34% in parents (1.96, 1.36–2.83), but remained similar at 24 months of age, respectively. Prevalence rates of H. influenzae were 46%, 65% and 65% at 11 months (2.22, 1.58–3.13), 52%, 73% and 76% at 24 months of age (2.68, 1.88–3.82) and 23%, 30% and 40% in parents (2.26, 1.58–3.33), respectively. No consistent changes in M. catarrhalis carriage rates were observed over time.
In addition to large shifts in pneumococcal serotypes, persistently higher nasopharyngeal prevalence rates of S. aureus and H. influenzae were observed among young children and their parents after PCV-7 implementation. These findings may have implications for disease incidence and antibiotic treatment in the post-PCV era.
PMCID: PMC3382588  PMID: 22761879
4.  Carriage of Streptococcus pneumoniae 3 Years after Start of Vaccination Program, the Netherlands 
Emerging Infectious Diseases  2011;17(4):584-591.
To evaluate the effectiveness of the 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7) program, we conducted a cross-sectional observational study on nasopharyngeal carriage of Streptococcus pneumoniae 3 years after implementation of the program in the Netherlands. We compared pneumococcal serotypes in 329 prebooster 11-month-old children, 330 fully vaccinated 24-month-old children, and 324 parents with age-matched pre-PCV7 (unvaccinated) controls (ages 12 and 24 months, n = 319 and n = 321, respectively) and 296 of their parents. PCV7 serotype prevalences before and after PCV7 implementation, respectively, were 38% and 8% among 11-month-old children, 36% and 4% among 24-month-old children, and 8% and 1% among parents. Non-PCV7 serotype prevalences were 29% and 39% among 11-month-old children, 30% and 45% among 24-month-old children, and 8% and 15% among parents, respectively; serotypes 11A and 19A were most frequently isolated. PCV7 serotypes were largely replaced by non-PCV7 serotypes. Disappearance of PCV7 serotypes in parents suggests strong transmission reduction through vaccination.
PMCID: PMC3377405  PMID: 21470445
Streptococcus pneumoniae; nasopharyngeal colonization; heptavalent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine; infectious disease transmission; herd immunity; parents; infants; bacteria; research
6.  A high resolution HLA and SNP haplotype map for disease association studies in the extended human MHC 
Nature genetics  2006;38(10):1166-1172.
The proteins encoded by the classical HLA class I and class II genes in the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) are highly polymorphic and play an essential role in self/non-self immune recognition. HLA variation is a crucial determinant of transplant rejection and susceptibility to a large number of infectious and autoimmune disease1. Yet identification of causal variants is problematic due to linkage disequilibrium (LD) that extends across multiple HLA and non-HLA genes in the MHC2,3. We therefore set out to characterize the LD patterns between the highly polymorphic HLA genes and background variation by typing the classical HLA genes and >7,500 common single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and deletion/insertion polymorphisms (DIPs) across four population samples. The analysis provides informative tag SNPs that capture some of the variation in the MHC region and that could be used in initial disease association studies, and provides new insight into the evolutionary dynamics and ancestral origins of the HLA loci and their haplotypes.
PMCID: PMC2670196  PMID: 16998491
7.  Effective Detection of Human Leukocyte Antigen Risk Alleles in Celiac Disease Using Tag Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms 
PLoS ONE  2008;3(5):e2270.
The HLA genes, located in the MHC region on chromosome 6p21.3, play an important role in many autoimmune disorders, such as celiac disease (CD), type 1 diabetes (T1D), rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, psoriasis and others. Known HLA variants that confer risk to CD, for example, include DQA1*05/DQB1*02 (DQ2.5) and DQA1*03/DQB1*0302 (DQ8). To diagnose the majority of CD patients and to study disease susceptibility and progression, typing these strongly associated HLA risk factors is of utmost importance. However, current genotyping methods for HLA risk factors involve many reactions, and are complicated and expensive. We sought a simple experimental approach using tagging SNPs that predict the CD-associated HLA risk factors.
Our tagging approach exploits linkage disequilibrium between single nucleotide polymorphism (SNPs) and the CD-associated HLA risk factors DQ2.5 and DQ8 that indicate direct risk, and DQA1*0201/DQB1*0202 (DQ2.2) and DQA1*0505/DQB1*0301 (DQ7) that attribute to the risk of DQ2.5 to CD. To evaluate the predictive power of this approach, we performed an empirical comparison of the predicted DQ types, based on these six tag SNPs, with those executed with current validated laboratory typing methods of the HLA-DQA1 and -DQB1 genes in three large cohorts. The results were validated in three European celiac populations.
Using this method, only six SNPs were needed to predict the risk types carried by >95% of CD patients. We determined that for this tagging approach the sensitivity was >0.991, specificity >0.996 and the predictive value >0.948. Our results show that this tag SNP method is very accurate and provides an excellent basis for population screening for CD. This method is broadly applicable in European populations.
PMCID: PMC2386975  PMID: 18509540
8.  The SPINK gene family and celiac disease susceptibility 
Immunogenetics  2007;59(5):349-357.
The gene family of serine protease inhibitors of the Kazal type (SPINK) are functional and positional candidate genes for celiac disease (CD). Our aim was to assess the gut mucosal gene expression and genetic association of SPINK1, -2, -4, and -5 in the Dutch CD population. Gene expression was determined for all four SPINK genes by quantitative reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction in duodenal biopsy samples from untreated (n = 15) and diet-treated patients (n = 31) and controls (n = 16). Genetic association of the four SPINK genes was tested within a total of 18 haplotype tagging SNPs, one coding SNP, 310 patients, and 180 controls. The SPINK4 study cohort was further expanded to include 479 CD cases and 540 controls. SPINK4 DNA sequence analysis was performed on six members of a multigeneration CD family to detect possible point mutations or deletions. SPINK4 showed differential gene expression, which was at its highest in untreated patients and dropped sharply upon commencement of a gluten-free diet. Genetic association tests for all four SPINK genes were negative, including SPINK4 in the extended case/control cohort. No SPINK4 mutations or deletions were observed in the multigeneration CD family with linkage to chromosome 9p21-13 nor was the coding SNP disease-specific. SPINK4 exhibits CD pathology-related differential gene expression, likely derived from altered goblet cell activity. All of the four SPINK genes tested do not contribute to the genetic risk for CD in the Dutch population.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00251-007-0199-5) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC1914236  PMID: 17333166
SPINK genes; Celiac disease; Quantitative reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction; Genetic association

Results 1-8 (8)