A glycoprotein pneumococcal conjugate vaccine primes for antibody responses to a pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine in Gambian children

Stephen K. Obaro, Zhiming Huo, Winston A.S. Banya, Donald C. Henderson, Michele A. Monteil, Amanda Leach, Brian M. Greenwood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Scopus citations


Background. D. Streptococcus pneumoniae is a major cause of acute respiratory infections and acute bacterial meningitis in children. Pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccines are poorly immunogenic in this highly vulnerable group, but protein polysaccharide conjugate vaccines are likely to be more effective. Objectives. To determine whether immunization of infants with a pneumococcal conjugate vaccine induces immunologic memory. Methods. Eighty-four Gambian children, who had been vaccinated previously with two or three doses of a pantavalent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (CRM197) or with a Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) conjugate vaccine were immunized when approximately 2 years old with a 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine, and a blood sample was obtained 10 days later. Pneumococcal antibody titers in prevaccination and postvaccination sera were measured by enzyme- linked immunosorbent assay and by an opsonophagocytic assay. Results. On revaccination with a pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine, children who had previously received pneumococcal conjugate vaccine had higher antibody concentrations to each of the five polysaccharide components of the conjugate vaccine than did control children. For type 6B polysaccharide, which is poorly immunogenic in young children, postvaccination antibody concentrations were 0.37, 27.6 and 50.9 μg/ml in children who had received no previous pneumococcal immunization or two or three doses of conjugate vaccine, respectively. Type 14 antibodies produced after revaccination were of high avidity and had opsonic activity. Conclusion. Vaccination of young infants with two or three doses of a pneumococcal conjugate vaccine primes the immune system to respond strongly and rapidly on subsequent exposure to pneumococcal polysaccharide.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1135-1140
Number of pages6
JournalPediatric Infectious Disease Journal
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Immunologic priming
  • Pneumococcal vaccines
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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