Preserved antibody levels and loss of memory B cells against pneumococcus and tetanus after splenectomy: Tailoring better vaccination strategies

M. Manuela Rosado, Francesco Gesualdo, Valentina Marcellini, Antonio Di Sabatino, Gino Roberto Corazza, Maria Paola Smacchia, Bruno Nobili, Carlo Baronci, Lidia Russo, Francesca Rossi, Rita De Vito, Luciana Nicolosi, Alessandro Inserra, Franco Locatelli, Alberto E. Tozzi, Rita Carsetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Splenectomized patients are exposed to an increased risk of septicemia caused by encapsulated bacteria. Defense against infection is ensured by preformed serum antibodies produced by long-lived plasma cells and by memory B cells that secrete immunoglobulin in response to specific antigenic stimuli. Studying a group of asplenic individuals (57 adults and 21 children) without additional immunologic defects, we found that spleen removal does not alter serum anti-pneumococcal polysaccharide (PnPS) IgG concentration, but reduces the number of PnPS-specific memory B cells, of both IgM and IgG isotypes. The number of specific memory B cells was low in splenectomized adults and children that had received the PnPS vaccine either before or after splenectomy. Seven children were given the 13-valent pneumococcal conjugated vaccine after splenectomy. In this group, the number of PnPS-specific IgG memory B cells was similar to that of eusplenic children, suggesting that pneumococcal conjugated vaccine administered after splenectomy is able to restore the pool of anti-PnPS IgG memory B cells. Our data further elucidate the crucial role of the spleen in the immunological response to infections caused by encapsulated bacteria and suggest that glycoconjugated vaccines may be the most suitable choice to generate IgG-mediated protection in these patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2659-2670
Number of pages12
JournalEuropean Journal of Immunology
Volume43
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2013

Keywords

  • Asplenia
  • Memory B cells
  • Serum anti-PnPS
  • Splenectomy
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Immunology and Allergy

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