Immunological paralysis to pneumococcal polysaccharide in man

Lancet. 1985 Aug 31;2(8453):468-71. doi: 10.1016/s0140-6736(85)90401-5.


A 9-month-old infant had severe pneumococcal meningitis and for the next two years showed immunological paralysis to the causal serotype. He remained normally responsive to a protein antigen (tetanus toxoid) and to polysaccharide antigens (Haemophilus influenzae type b capsule and pneumococcal capsule antigens other than the infecting/paralysing serotype). By the fourth year of life the child was spontaneously producing antibody to the infecting/paralysing pneumococcal serotype, at which time rechallenge with the previously tolerising antigen resulted in a secondary response. The occurrence of pneumococcal immunological paralysis in man is therefore validated.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Bacterial / biosynthesis
  • Antigens, Bacterial / urine
  • Bacterial Vaccines / immunology
  • Child, Preschool
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Immune Tolerance*
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Meningitis, Pneumococcal / immunology*
  • Meningitis, Pneumococcal / therapy
  • Pneumococcal Vaccines
  • Polysaccharides, Bacterial / immunology*
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae / immunology*


  • Antibodies, Bacterial
  • Antigens, Bacterial
  • Bacterial Vaccines
  • Pneumococcal Vaccines
  • Polysaccharides, Bacterial