Antibody class and subclass responses to pneumococcal polysaccharides following immunization of human immunodeficiency virus-infected patients

J Infect Dis. 1995 Aug;172(2):340-5. doi: 10.1093/infdis/172.2.340.


Antibodies of the IgM class and IgG2 and IgA2 subclasses are prominent in responses to pneumococcal polysaccharides (PPS) but may be decreased in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected patients, among whom invasive pneumococcal disease is common. After immunization of HIV-infected and -seronegative subjects with pneumococcal vaccine, the number of PPS-specific antibody-secreting cells (ASC) producing IgM was significantly lower among HIV-infected subjects, whereas PPS-specific IgG and IgA ASC were more comparable. The subclass distribution of PPS-specific IgG2-producing (approximately 80%) and IgA2-producing (approximately 50%) ASC and antibodies in serum were similar. However, before immunization, the proportions of PPS-specific IgG2 for both serotypes 8 and 14 in baseline sera from HIV-infected patients were significantly decreased compared with controls. Thus, the response to PPS among HIV-infected patients may be characterized by lower levels of specific IgG2 before immunization and prominent defects in IgM responses soon after stimulation.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antibodies, Bacterial / classification
  • Antibody-Producing Cells / immunology
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Bacterial Vaccines / immunology*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / immunology*
  • HIV Seronegativity / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin A / biosynthesis*
  • Immunoglobulin G / biosynthesis*
  • Immunoglobulin M / biosynthesis*
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Male
  • Pneumococcal Vaccines
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae / immunology*
  • Vaccination*


  • Antibodies, Bacterial
  • Bacterial Vaccines
  • Immunoglobulin A
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Immunoglobulin M
  • Pneumococcal Vaccines