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Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal:
doi: 10.1097/INF.0b013e318245a5a8
Original Studies

Effect of Early Carriage of Streptococcus pneumoniae on the Development of Pneumococcal Protein-specific Cellular Immune Responses in Infancy

van den Biggelaar, Anita H. J. PhD*; Pomat, William S. PhD; Phuanukoonnon, Suparat PhD; Michael, Audrey MT; Aho, Celestine BSc; Nadal-Sims, Marie A. BSc*; Devitt, Catherine J. BSc*; Jacoby, Peter A. MSc; Hales, Belinda J. PhD§; Smith, Wendy-Anne PhD§; Mitchell, Tim PhD; Wiertsema, Selma PhD; Richmond, Peter MD, FRACP; Siba, Peter PhD; Holt, Patrick G. DSc, FAA*; Lehmann, Deborah MB BS

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Background: The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between nasopharyngeal pneumococcal colonization in early life and the subsequent development of pneumococcal-specific T cell responses.

Methods: Pernasal swabs were collected from Papua New Guinean infants at the ages of 1 and 2 weeks (n = 279). At 9 months, in vitro cellular immune responses to choline-binding protein A (n = 132), pneumococcal surface protein A (n = 132), pneumolysin (n = 99), and the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine carrier CRM197 were determined. Responses were compared based on the children's carriage status within the first 2 weeks of life.

Results: Within the first 2 weeks of life, 40% of the study children carried Streptococcus pneumoniae. Early carriage was associated with lower interferon-γ and interleukin 10 responses to pneumococcal proteins at age 9 months when children had not received pneumococcal conjugate vaccines during the study period.

Conclusions: Early pneumococcal carriage may result in enhanced disease susceptibility and suboptimal vaccine responses by modulating the development of pneumococcal immune responses.

© 2012 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.


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