Combination of pneumococcal surface protein A (PspA) with whole cell pertussis vaccine increases protection against pneumococcal challenge in mice.
Oliveira MLS., Miyaji EN., Ferreira DM., Moreno AT., Ferreira PCD., Lima FA., Santos FL., Sakauchi MA., Takata CS., Higashi HG., Raw I., Kubrusly FS., Ho PL.
Streptococcus pneumoniae is the leading cause of respiratory acute infections around the world. In Latin America, approximately 20,000 children under 5 years of age die of pneumococcal diseases annually. Pneumococcal surface protein A (PspA) is among the best-characterized pneumococcal antigens that confer protection in animal models of pneumococcal infections and, as such, is a good alternative for the currently available conjugated vaccines. Efficient immune responses directed to PspA in animal models have already been described. Nevertheless, few low cost adjuvants for a subunit pneumococcal vaccine have been proposed to date. Here, we have tested the adjuvant properties of the whole cell Bordetella pertussis vaccine (wP) that is currently part of the DTP (diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis) vaccine administrated to children in several countries, as an adjuvant to PspA. Nasal immunization of BALB/c mice with a combination of PspA5 and wP or wP(low)--a new generation vaccine that contains low levels of B. pertussis LPS--conferred protection against a respiratory lethal challenge with S. pneumoniae. Both PspA5-wP and PspA5-wP(low) vaccines induced high levels of systemic and mucosal antibodies against PspA5, with similar profile, indicating no essential requirement for B. pertussis LPS in the adjuvant properties of wP. Accordingly, nasal immunization of C3H/HeJ mice with PspA5-wP conferred protection against the pneumococcal challenge, thus ruling out a role for TLR4 responses in the adjuvant activity and the protection mechanisms triggered by the vaccines. The high levels of anti-PspA5 antibodies correlated with increased cross-reactivity against PspAs from different clades and also reflected in cross-protection. In addition, passive immunization experiments indicated that antibodies played an important role in protection in this model. Finally, subcutaneous immunization with a combination of PspA5 with DTP(low) protected mice against challenge with two different pneumococcal strains, opening the possibility for the development of a combined infant vaccine composed of DTP and PspA.