Mucosal immunization with polyamine transport protein D (PotD) protects mice against nasopharyngeal colonization with Streptococcus pneumoniae

Exp Biol Med (Maywood). 2009 Apr;234(4):403-9. doi: 10.3181/0809-RM-269. Epub 2009 Jan 28.


Streptococcus pneumoniae is an encapsulated pathogen that can cause invasive disease following colonization of the nasopharynx. Targeting colonization of mucosal surfaces may, therefore, be the best approach for vaccination to prevent pneumococcal invasive disease. Previous studies in our laboratory have shown that immunization with recombinant polyamine transport protein D (PotD) protects mice against systemic pneumococcal infections. In this study we investigated the efficacy of mucosal immunization with rPotD to protect against pneumococcal carriage and invasion in a murine model. Mice were intranasally immunized with either rPotD and cholera toxin B subunit (CTB) or CTB alone. Significantly less pneumococci were recovered from the nasopharynx of immunized mice compared to the control animals following intranasal challenge with either EF3030 (serotype 19F) (P < 0.05) or an invasive serotype 4 isolate (TIGR4) (P < 0.05). PotD immunized mice also had lesser bacteria in their sinus tissues (P < 0.05), brains (P < 0.05), lungs and olfactory bulbs following intranasal challenge with TIGR4. ELISA analysis demonstrated the presence of IgG antibodies to PotD in the serum and IgA antibodies in the saliva. These results indicate that mucosal immunization with PotD generates both mucosal and systemic immune responses and prevents establishment of nasopharyngeal carriage by multiple pneumococcal serotypes. Thus, PotD is a potentially important antigen for development of a pneumococcal protein vaccine.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Intranasal
  • Animals
  • Antibody Formation
  • Bacterial Proteins / immunology*
  • Cholera Toxin / immunology
  • Immunization
  • Immunoglobulin A / blood
  • Immunoglobulin A / immunology
  • Immunoglobulin G / blood
  • Immunoglobulin G / immunology
  • Membrane Transport Proteins / immunology*
  • Mice
  • Nasal Mucosa / microbiology
  • Nasopharynx / microbiology*
  • Pneumococcal Infections / prevention & control*
  • Pneumococcal Vaccines* / administration & dosage
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae / isolation & purification


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Immunoglobulin A
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Membrane Transport Proteins
  • Pneumococcal Vaccines
  • Cholera Toxin