Th17-mediated cross protection against pneumococcal carriage by vaccination with a variable antigen

Kirsten Kuipers, Wouter S.P. Jong, Christa E. van der Gaast-de Jongh, Diane Houben, Fred van Opzeeland, Elles Simonetti, Saskia van Selm, Ronald de Groot, Marije I. Koenders, Taj Azarian, Elder Pupo, Peter van der Ley, Jeroen D. Langereis, Aldert Zomer, Joen Luirink, Marien I. de Jonge*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Serotype-specific protection against Streptococcus pneumoniae is an important limitation of the current polysaccharide-based vaccines. To prevent serotype replacement, reduce transmission, and limit the emergence of new variants, it is essential to induce broad protection and restrict pneumococcal colonization. In this study, we used a prototype vaccine formulation consisting of lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-detoxified outer membrane vesicles (OMVs) from Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium displaying the variable N terminus of PspA (α1α2 ) for intranasal vaccination, which induced strong Th17 immunity associated with a substantial reduction of pneumococcal colonization. Despite the variable nature of this protein, a common major histocompatibility complex class (MHC-II) epitope was identified, based on in silico prediction combined with ex vivo screening, and was essential for interleukin-17 A (IL-17A)-mediated cross-reactivity and associated with cross protection. Based on 1,352 PspA sequences derived from a pneumococcal carriage cohort, this OMV-based vaccine formulation containing a single α1α2 type was estimated to cover 19.1% of strains, illustrating the potential of Th17-mediated cross protection.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere00281-17
JournalInfection and Immunity
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017


  • Antigen surface display
  • Autotransporter Hbp
  • Broad protection
  • Colonization
  • Intranasal vaccination
  • Protein antigens
  • PspA
  • Salmonella outer membrane vesicle (OMV)
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae
  • Th17


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