No evidence for impaired humoral immunity to pneumococcal proteins in Australian Aboriginal children with otitis media
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Background: The Australian Aboriginal population experiences disproportionately high rates of otitis media (OM). Streptococcus pneumoniae is one of the main pathogens responsible for OM and currently no vaccine offering cross strain protection exists. Vaccines consisting of conserved antigens to S. pneumoniae may reduce the burden of OM in high-risk populations; however no data exists examining naturally acquired antibody in Aboriginal children with OM. Methods: Serum and salivary IgA and IgG were measured against the S. pneumoniae antigens PspA1 and 2, CbpA and Ply in a cross sectional study of 183 children, including 36 non-Aboriginal healthy control children and 70 Aboriginal children and 77 non-Aboriginal children undergoing surgery for OM using a multiplex bead assay. Results: Significant differences were observed between the 3 groups for serum anti-PspA1 IgA, anti-CbpA and anti-Ply IgG and for all salivary antibodies assessed. Aboriginal children with a history of OM had significantly higher antibody titres than non-Aboriginal healthy children with no history of OM and non-Aboriginal children with a history of OM for several proteins in serum and saliva. Non-Aboriginal children with a history of OM had significantly higher salivary anti-PspA1 IgG than healthy children, while all other titres were comparable between the groups. Conclusions Conserved vaccine candidate proteins from S. pneumoniae induce serum and salivary antibody responses in Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal children with a history of OM. Aboriginal children do not have an impaired antibody response to the antigens measured from S. pneumoniae and they may represent vaccine candidates in Indigenous populations.
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