Pneumococcal vaccination of patients with systemic lupus erythematosus: effects on generation of autoantibodies

Autoimmunity. 2005 Nov;38(7):493-6. doi: 10.1080/08916930500285725.


Objectives: To assess the effect of vaccination against streptococcus pneumoniae on the generation of autoantibodies in patients with SLE.

Materials and methods: Twenty-four consecutive patients with SLE were vaccinated against streptococcus pneumoniae. Assessment was performed the day of vaccination and 2 months later and included evaluation of disease activity using the SLEDAI, serum levels of ESR, CRP, C3 and C4. The sera of the patients were tested by ELISA for anti-dsDNA, anticardiolipin (IgG and IgM), anti-Sm, anti-nRNP, anti-Ro/SSA, and anti-La/SSB.

Results: The mean age at enrollment into the study was 39, mean disease duration 6.9 years. The SLEDAI score (mean +/- SD) was 4.41 +/- 2.92 at the time of vaccination and 4.47 +/- 3.11, 2 months apart. At the time of vaccination, 10 patients had anti-dsDNA, 2 patients had anti-Sm, 5 had anti-nRNP, and 9 had anti-Ro/SSA, 4 had anti-La/SSB, 4 had anticardiolipin IgG and IgM. Two months after vaccination, no change was observed in the proportion of patients with anti-Sm, anti-dsDNA, anti-RNP, anti-Ro/SSA and anticardiolipin IgM. A single patient developed anticardiolipin IgG and another one turned anti-RNP negative.

Conclusions: Vaccination against streptococcus pneumoniae did not trigger the generation of autoantibodies and confirms the clinical safety of this vaccine in SLE patients.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antibodies, Bacterial / biosynthesis*
  • Antibodies, Bacterial / blood
  • Autoantibodies / biosynthesis*
  • Autoantibodies / blood
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / blood
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / immunology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pneumococcal Infections / immunology
  • Pneumococcal Infections / prevention & control
  • Pneumococcal Vaccines / administration & dosage*
  • Pneumococcal Vaccines / immunology
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae / immunology*


  • Antibodies, Bacterial
  • Autoantibodies
  • Pneumococcal Vaccines