, Volume 33, Issue 1, pp 288-296
Date: 25 Sep 2012

Kinetics of IgM and IgA Antibody Response to 23-Valent Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Vaccination in Healthy Subjects

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A poor antibody response of IgM and IgA antibodies upon vaccination with pneumococcal polysaccharides (PnPS) is discussed as independent risk factors for bronchiectasis in patients with antibody deficiency syndrome (ADS) receiving immunoglobulin replacement therapy. However, the kinetics of the specific IgM and IgA response to vaccination with multivalent pneumococcal polysaccharides requires a more detailed knowledge. In this study we aimed i) to develop a standardised multivalent PnPS-IgM and IgA-ELISA, and ii) to compare the sensitivity of the multivalent to the serotype specific antibody response, and iii) to determine the kinetics of the anti-PnPS IgM and IgA antibodies in healthy subjects.


We immunised n = 20 healthy adults with a 23-valent PnPS vaccine (Pneumovax®). The kinetics of the 23-valent antibody response was assessed for 1 year with newly developed ELISAs for IgM and IgA isotypes, along with serotype specific responses.


The IgA and IgM antibody response peaked at 2 and 3 weeks, respectively. IgM antibody levels remained at a plateau (above 80 % of peak response) for 3 months. After one year, specific antibody levels were still at about 30 % of the peak response. The 23-valent antibody response yielded significantly higher responder rates than assessment of single serotypes.


Testing the IgM and IgA immune response to polysaccharide vaccination with a multivalent PnPS ELISA may be a feasible tool for assessment of the immune function in patient groups who receive IgG replacement therapy.