Systemic and mucosal protective immunity to pneumococcal surface protein A

Ann N Y Acad Sci. 1996 Oct 25;797:118-26. doi: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.1996.tb52954.x.


To date our studies demonstrate that PspA is a highly immunogenic molecule in mice and that it can elicit immunity to otherwise fatal infections following iv, ip, in, and it challenge. Although the molecule is serologically variable, it is sufficiently cross-reactive so that immunization with a single PspA can protect against strains of highly diverse serotypes. It is anticipated that a vaccine composed of a mixture of carefully chosen PspA molecules will be able to elicit protective immunity to virtually all pneumococci. If this vaccine proved efficacious in man, it would provide a more simple and less costly means of immunizing against pneumococcal infection than using recombinant vaccines. This could be especially important in the developing world where the cost of successful vaccines must be no more than pennies per dose. If PspA is found to be less efficacious than capsular polysaccharides, it may be valuable as a protein component of a PS-protein conjugate vaccine. In this capacity, PspA might expand the breath of protection elicited by a vaccine composed of only a few polysaccharide-protein conjugates representing capsule types most commonly associated with infectious pneumococci.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens, Surface / chemistry
  • Antigens, Surface / immunology*
  • Bacterial Proteins / chemistry
  • Bacterial Proteins / immunology*
  • Bacterial Vaccines / immunology
  • Carrier State / prevention & control
  • Cross Reactions
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Mucosal
  • Immunization*
  • Mice
  • Nasopharynx / microbiology
  • Pneumococcal Infections / immunology*
  • Pneumococcal Infections / prevention & control
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae / growth & development
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae / immunology*
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae / pathogenicity
  • Virulence


  • Antigens, Surface
  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Bacterial Vaccines
  • pneumococcal surface protein A