Natural development of antibodies to pneumococcal surface protein A, pneumococcal surface adhesin A, and pneumolysin in relation to pneumococcal carriage and acute otitis media

J Infect Dis. 2000 Oct;182(4):1146-52. doi: 10.1086/315822. Epub 2000 Sep 5.


Pneumococcal surface protein A (PspA), pneumococcal surface adhesin A (PsaA), and pneumolysin (Ply) are common to virtually all Streptococcus pneumoniae isolates. They are immunogenic and protective against pneumococcal challenge in animals and are the major candidates for a protein-based pneumococcal vaccine for humans. However, little is known of the natural development of antibodies to these proteins in humans. The objective of this study was to evaluate the natural development of antibodies to PspA, PsaA, and Ply in relation to pneumococcal infection and carriage in young children. Serum antibodies to these proteins were measured by EIA in children at ages 6, 12, 18, and 24 months and in their mothers. All age groups were capable of producing antibodies to the 3 proteins. The antibody concentrations increased with age and were strongly associated with pneumococcal exposure, whether by carriage or infection (acute otitis media).

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adhesins, Bacterial
  • Antibodies, Bacterial / blood*
  • Antigens, Bacterial / immunology
  • Bacterial Proteins / immunology*
  • Carrier Proteins / immunology*
  • Carrier State / blood
  • Carrier State / immunology
  • Cohort Studies
  • Finland
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Lipoproteins / immunology*
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Membrane Transport Proteins*
  • Otitis Media / blood
  • Otitis Media / immunology*
  • Otitis Media / microbiology*
  • Pneumococcal Infections / blood
  • Pneumococcal Infections / immunology*
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae / immunology*
  • Streptolysins / immunology*


  • Adhesins, Bacterial
  • Antibodies, Bacterial
  • Antigens, Bacterial
  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Carrier Proteins
  • Lipoproteins
  • Membrane Transport Proteins
  • PsaA protein, Streptococcus
  • Streptolysins
  • plY protein, Streptococcus pneumoniae
  • pneumococcal surface protein A