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Pneumococcal surface protein A (PspA) is an important candidate for a cost-effective vaccine with broad coverage against Streptococcus pneumoniae. We have previously shown that intramuscular immunization with PspA as a DNA vaccine induces an immune response characterized by the induction of a balanced IgG1/IgG2a antibody response in BALB/c mice, which was able to efficiently mediate complement deposition onto intact bacteria and to induce protection against an intraperitoneal challenge. We now confirm the results in C57BL/6 mice and further show that the response induced by the DNA vaccine expressing PspA is able to mediate protection against colonization of the nasopharyngeal mucosa even though immunization was given parenterally. Moreover, a positive correlation was observed between IgG1 and the numbers of CFU recovered, whereas an inverse correlation was observed between nasal CFU levels and IgG2a. A positive correlation was also found for IgG1/IgG2a antibody ratios with CFU recovered from the nasopharynx. Therefore, reduction of nasal colonization was strongly associated with increased levels of serum IgG2a complement fixing antibody and low levels of IgG1 antibody which has much less complement fixing activity. Passive transfer of serum from animals immunized with the DNA vaccine expressing PspA was also able to reduce the fraction of mice with high density of colonization of the nasopharynx. Secretion of IFN-gamma, but not IL-17, was observed in splenocytes from mice immunized with the DNA vaccine.

Original publication




Journal article


Microb Pathog

Publication Date





205 - 213


Animals, Antibodies, Bacterial, Antibody Formation, Bacterial Proteins, Complement Activation, Female, Immunization, Immunoglobulin G, Interferon-gamma, Interleukin-17, Mice, Mice, Inbred C57BL, Mice, Knockout, Nasopharynx, Pneumococcal Infections, Pneumococcal Vaccines, Spleen, Vaccines, DNA