Adaptive Immunity against Streptococcus pyogenes in Adults Involves Increased IFN-γ and IgG3 Responses Compared with Children

Rasmus Mortensen, Thomas Nørrelykke Nissen, Thomas Blauenfeldt, Jan P Christensen, Peter Andersen, Jes Dietrich

43 Citationer (Scopus)

Abstract

Each year, millions of people are infected with Streptococcus pyogenes, leading to an estimated 500,000 annual deaths worldwide. For unknown reasons, school-aged children have substantially higher infection rates than adults. The goal for this study was to provide, to our knowledge, the first detailed characterization of the human adaptive immune response against S. pyogenes in both children and adults. We report that all adults in our study, as well as most children, showed immunity against the two conserved group A streptococci (GAS) Ags, streptococcal C5a peptidase and immunogenic secreted protein. The response primarily consisted of three subsets of Th1 T cells, in which the TNF-α(+) and IL-2(+)TNF-α(+) subsets were most frequent. Humoral immunity was dominated by IgG1 and IgG3, whereas the Th2-associated IgG4 isotype was only detected at very low amounts. IgG3 levels correlated significantly with IFN-γ, but not with IL-5, IL-13, IL-17, or TNF-α. Interestingly, children showed a similar pattern of Ag-specific cytokine release, but displayed significantly lower levels of IgG3 and IFN-γ compared with adults. Thus, human immune responses against S. pyogenes consist of a robust Th1 cellular memory response in combination with IgG1/IgG3-dominated humoral immunity that increase with age. The significance of these data regarding both the increased GAS infection rate in children and the development of protective GAS vaccines is discussed.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftJournal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950)
Vol/bind195
Udgave nummer4
Sider (fra-til)1657-64
Antal sider8
ISSN0022-1767
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 15 aug. 2015

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