Chapter 15 : Functional Assays for Pneumococcal Antibody

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This chapter reviews opsonophagocytosis assay (OPA) methods for pneumococcal antibodies and the experience with OPA in clinical trials, stressing the need for further standardization of OPA. In the case of pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (PCV), studies suggest that the vaccine-induced antibodies primarily help phagocytes ingest and kill pneumococci. This mechanism of host protection is described in this chapter. Given that opsonophagocytosis is essential in host defense against pneumococci, pneumococcal vaccines are designed to induce opsonic antibodies. The chapter describes two different types of clinically available vaccines and the various laboratory measures that were used to estimate their protective efficacy. The PCV becomes T cell dependent, induces B-cell memory, and can elicit anti-polysaccharide (PS) antibodies in young children. OPA is the most desirable surrogate assay for measuring pneumococcal vaccine-induced immunity. This chapter uses a historical approach to describe the various OPA methods. However, this classical approach is very tedious to perform, primarily due to the counting of colonies. Consequently, many researchers have developed various alternative OPA methods requiring no colony counting, including a radiolabeled-bacterium uptake assay, a fluorescent-bacterium uptake assay, chemiluminescence, and an oxidative-burst generation assay. Clinical studies have measured opsonophagocytic antibody activity in young children and adults. Due to the past methodological difficulties, these studies tended to be small in size. They are nevertheless informative and are thus discusses in this chapter. Finally, the chapter finally talks about future activities for OPA. OPA will likely become the basis for evaluating the efficacy of protein vaccines.

Citation: Nahm M, Romero-Steiner S. 2008. Functional Assays for Pneumococcal Antibody, p 213-226. In Siber G, Klugman K, Mäkelä P (ed), Pneumococcal Vaccines. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815820.ch15
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Table 1

Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine trials with OPA estimates conducted in infant populations

Citation: Nahm M, Romero-Steiner S. 2008. Functional Assays for Pneumococcal Antibody, p 213-226. In Siber G, Klugman K, Mäkelä P (ed), Pneumococcal Vaccines. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815820.ch15
Generic image for table
Table 2

Pneumococcal vaccine studies with OPA estimates conducted with older children and adults

Citation: Nahm M, Romero-Steiner S. 2008. Functional Assays for Pneumococcal Antibody, p 213-226. In Siber G, Klugman K, Mäkelä P (ed), Pneumococcal Vaccines. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815820.ch15

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