Serum and salivary anti-capsular antibodies in infants and children immunized with the heptavalent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine

Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2001 Jan;20(1):25-33. doi: 10.1097/00006454-200101000-00006.


Aim: To study the ability of seven-valent experimental pneumococcal polysaccharide CRM197 protein conjugate vaccine (PncCRM) to induce antibodies in serum and saliva of infants.

Methods: Sixty Finnish infants received Pnc-CRM vaccine at 2, 4 and 6 months of age and were boosted with PncCRM (n = 30) or pneumococcal polysaccharide (PncPS) (n = 29) vaccine at the age of 15 months. Serum IgG antibody concentrations to vaccine serotypes 4, 6B, 9V, 14, 18C, 19F and 23F were measured by enzyme immunoassay at 2, 4, 6, 7, 15, 16 and 24 months of age. Salivary IgA, IgG and secretory Ig antibody titers at 7 and 16 months of ages were analyzed by enzyme immunoassay against the same serotypes, except 23F.

Results: PncCRM induced systemic immune responses and immunologic memory. At 7 months of age 69 to 100% of children, depending on the serotype, had serum IgG antibody concentrations exceeding the value of 1.0 microg/ml. At 15 months the titers were still higher than before the vaccinations. Booster doses of either PncPS or PncCRM induced an increase in antibody concentrations. The titers were still elevated at 24 months of age. Salivary IgA and IgG antibodies were found rarely at 7 months of age, but in up to 80% of samples taken at 16 months of age, depending on the serotype and nature of the booster vaccine. Salivary IgG correlated with IgG in serum, supporting the theory that salivary IgG is derived from serum. Salivary IgA and secretory Ig correlated positively, which indicates that IgA was locally produced.

Conclusions: PncCRM induces both systemic and mucosal immune responses in infants.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Bacterial / analysis*
  • Antibodies, Bacterial / biosynthesis
  • Antibodies, Bacterial / blood
  • Bacterial Capsules / immunology*
  • Finland
  • Heptavalent Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine
  • Humans
  • Immunization, Secondary
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Immunoglobulin A / analysis
  • Immunoglobulin A / biosynthesis
  • Immunoglobulin G / analysis
  • Immunoglobulin G / biosynthesis
  • Immunoglobulin G / blood
  • Infant
  • Meningococcal Vaccines / immunology*
  • Pneumococcal Infections / immunology
  • Pneumococcal Infections / prevention & control
  • Pneumococcal Vaccines / immunology*
  • Saliva / immunology*
  • Serotyping
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae / immunology*
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vaccines, Conjugate / immunology


  • Antibodies, Bacterial
  • Heptavalent Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine
  • Immunoglobulin A
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Meningococcal Vaccines
  • Pneumococcal Vaccines
  • Vaccines, Conjugate