Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 37236818
Link to DOI – 10.1016/j.vaccine.2023.05.031
Vaccine 2023 Jun; 41(28): 4170-4182
Streptococcus pneumoniae is a common agent of important human diseases such as otitis media, pneumonia, meningitis and sepsis. Current available vaccines that target capsular polysaccharides induce protection against invasive disease and nasopharyngeal colonization in children, yet their efficacy is limited to the serotypes included in the formulations. The virulence factor Pneumococcal Surface Protein A (PspA) interacts with host immune system and helps the bacteria to evade phagocytosis. Due to its essential role in virulence, PspA is an important vaccine candidate. Here we have tested a delivery system based on the adenylate cyclase toxin of Bordetella pertussis (CyaA) to induce immune responses against PspA in mice. CyaA was engineered to express fragments of the N-terminal region of PspAs from clades 2 and 4 (A2 and A4) and the resulting proteins were used in immunization experiments in mice. The recombinant CyaA-A2 and CyaA-A4 proteins were able to induce high levels of anti-PspA antibodies that reacted with pneumococcal strains expressing either PspA2 or PspA4. Moreover, reactivity of the antibodies against pneumococcal strains that express PspAs from clades 3 and 5 (PspA3 and PspA5) was also observed. A formulation containing CyaA-A2 and CyaA-A4 was able to protect mice against invasive pneumococcal challenges with isolates that express PspA2, PspA4 or PspA5. Moreover, a CyaA-A2-A4 fusion protein induced antibodies at similar levels and with similar reactivity as the formulation containing both proteins, and protected mice against the invasive challenge. Our results indicate that CyaA-PspA proteins are good candidates to induce broad protection against pneumococcal isolates.