Molecular analysis of putative pneumococcal virulence proteins

Microb Drug Resist. Spring 1997;3(1):1-10. doi: 10.1089/mdr.1997.3.1.


Although the polysaccharide capsule has been recognized as a sine qua non of virulence, recent attention has focused on the role of pneumococcal proteins in pathogenesis, particularly in view of their potential as vaccine antigens. The contribution of pneumolysin, two distinct neuraminidases, autolysin, hyaluronidase, and the 37 kDa pneumococcal surface adhesin A has been examined by specifically mutagenizing the respective genes in the pneumococcal chromosome and examining the impact on virulence in animal models. The vaccine potential of these proteins has also been assessed by immunization of mice with purified antigens, followed by challenge with virulent pneumococci.

MeSH terms

  • Adhesins, Bacterial / immunology
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Antigens, Bacterial / immunology*
  • Bacterial Proteins / immunology
  • Mice
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Neuraminidase / immunology
  • Pneumococcal Infections / immunology*
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae / immunology*
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae / pathogenicity
  • Virulence


  • Adhesins, Bacterial
  • Antigens, Bacterial
  • Bacterial Proteins
  • pneumococcal surface protein A
  • Neuraminidase