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The 7-valent polysaccharide conjugate vaccine currently administered against Streptococcus pneumoniae has been shown to be highly effective in high risk-groups, but its use in developing countries will probably not be possible due to high costs. The use of conserved protein antigens using the genetic vaccination strategy is an interesting alternative for the development of a cost-effective vaccine. We have analyzed the potential of DNA vaccines expressing genetically detoxified derivatives of pneumolysin (pneumolysoids) against pneumococcal infections, and compared this with immunization using recombinant protein. The purified recombinant pneumolysoid with the highest residual cytolytic activity was able to confer partial protection against a lethal intraperitoneal challenge, with the induction of high antibody levels. Immunization with DNA vaccines expressing pneumolysoids, on the other hand, induced a significantly lower antibody response and no protection was observed.

Original publication




Journal article


FEMS Immunol Med Microbiol

Publication Date





291 - 297


Animals, Antibodies, Bacterial, Bacterial Proteins, Cell Line, Cricetinae, Humans, Mice, Mice, Inbred BALB C, Pneumococcal Infections, Pneumococcal Vaccines, Recombinant Proteins, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Streptolysins, Vaccines, Conjugate, Vaccines, DNA