Exploring metal availability in the natural niche of <i>Streptococcus pneumoniae</i> to discover potential vaccine antigens

  • Lucille F. van Beek (Creator)
  • Kristin Surmann (Creator)
  • H. Bart van den Berg van Saparoea (Abera Bioscience AB) (Contributor)
  • Diane Houben (Abera Bioscience AB) (Creator)
  • Wouter Jong (Creator)
  • Christian Hentschker (Creator)
  • Thomas H.A. Ederveen (Creator)
  • Elena Mitsi (Creator)
  • Daniela M. Ferreira (Creator)
  • Fred van Opzeeland (Creator)
  • Irma Joosten (Creator)
  • Uwe V?lker (Creator)
  • Frank Schmidt (Creator)
  • Joen Luirink (Creator)
  • Dimitri A. Diavatopoulos (Creator)
  • Marien I. de Jonge (Creator)



Nasopharyngeal colonization by <i>Streptococcus pneumoniae</i> is a prerequisite for pneumococcal transmission and disease. Current vaccines protect only against disease and colonization caused by a limited number of serotypes, consequently allowing serotype replacement and transmission. Therefore, the development of a broadly protective vaccine against colonization, transmission and disease is desired but requires a better understanding of pneumococcal adaptation to its natural niche. Hence, we measured the levels of free and protein-bound transition metals in human nasal fluid, to determine the effect of metal concentrations on the growth and proteome of <i>S. pneumoniae</i>. Pneumococci cultured in medium containing metal levels comparable to nasal fluid showed a highly distinct proteomic profile compared to standard culture conditions, including the increased abundance of nine conserved, putative surface-exposed proteins. AliA, an oligopeptide binding protein, was identified as the strongest protective antigen, demonstrated by the significantly reduced bacterial load in a murine colonization and a lethal mouse pneumonia model, highlighting its potential as vaccine antigen.
Date made available2022

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