Recognition of pneumococcal isolates by antisera raised against PspA fragments from different clades.
Darrieux M., Moreno AT., Ferreira DM., Pimenta FC., de Andrade ALSS., Lopes APY., Leite LCC., Miyaji EN.
Pneumococcal surface protein A (PspA) is an important vaccine candidate against pneumococcal infections, capable of inducing protection in different animal models. Based on its structural diversity, it has been suggested that a PspA-based vaccine should contain at least one fragment from each of the two major families (family 1, comprising clades 1 and 2, and family 2, comprising clades 3, 4 and 5) in order to elicit broad protection. This study analysed the recognition of a panel of 35 pneumococcal isolates bearing different PspAs by antisera raised against the N-terminal regions of PspA clades 1 to 5. The antiserum to PspA clade 4 was found to show the broadest cross-reactivity, being able to recognize pneumococcal strains containing PspAs of all clades in both families. The cross-reactivity of antibodies elicited against a PspA hybrid including the N-terminal region of clade 1 fused to a shorter and more divergent fragment (clade-defining region, or CDR) of clade 4 (PspA1-4) was also tested, and revealed a strong recognition of isolates containing clades 1, 4 and 5, and weaker reactions with clades 2 and 3. The analysis of serum reactivity against different PspA regions further revealed that the complete N-terminal region rather than just the CDR should be included in an anti-pneumococcal vaccine. A PspA-based vaccine is thus proposed to be composed of the whole N-terminal region of clades 1 and 4, which could also be expressed as a hybrid protein.