Directed vaccination against pneumococcal disease

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Immunization strategies against commensal bacterial pathogens have long focused on eradicating asymptomatic carriage as well as disease, resulting in changes in the colonizing microflora with unknown future consequences. Additionally, current vaccines are not easily adaptable to sequence diversity and immune evasion. Here, we present a "smart" vaccine that leverages our current understanding of disease transition from bacterial carriage to infection with the pneumococcus serving as a model organism. Using conserved surface proteins highly expressed during virulent transition, the vaccine mounts an immune response specifically against disease-causing bacterial populations without affecting carriage. Aided by a delivery technology capable of multivalent surface display, which can be adapted easily to a changing clinical picture, results include complete protection against the development of pneumonia and sepsis during animal challenge experiments with multiple, highly variable, and clinically relevant pneumococcal isolates. The approach thus offers a unique and dynamic treatment option readily adaptable to other commensal pathogens.


  • Yi Li
  • Andrew Hill
  • Marie Beitelshees
  • Shuai Shao
  • Jonathan F Lovell
  • Bruce A Davidson
  • Paul R Knight
  • Anders P Hakansson
  • Blaine A Pfeifer
  • Charles H Jones
External organisations
  • University at Buffalo
  • Abcombi Biosciences Inc.
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Immunology in the medical area
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6898-6903
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Issue number25
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Jun 21
Publication categoryResearch

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