Competition among Streptococcus pneumoniae for intranasal colonization in a mouse model

Academic Article


  • Widespread use of conjugate vaccines against Streptococcus pneumoniae, by reducing carriage of S. pneumoniae serotypes included in the vaccine, may result in an increase in nasopharyngeal carriage of - and disease from - nonvaccine serotypes of the same species. Mathematical models predict that the extent of such replacement will depend positively on the degree to which carriage of vaccine-type S. pneumoniae inhibits acquisition of nonvaccine- type pneumococci, and may depend negatively on the inhibition of vaccine-type pneumococci by nonvaccine-type pneumococci. We used a mouse model of intranasal carriage of pneumococci to test whether such inhibition occurs between different pneumococcal strains. Mice carrying a streptomycin- resistant derivative of S. pneumoniae BG9163 (serotype 6B) as a resident strain showed reduced levels of colonization when challenged intranasally by optochin-resistant derivatives of the same strain and of a serotype 23F pneumococcus, BG8826. Inhibition could be overcome by increasing the dose of the challenge strain. Carriage of optochin-resistant BG9163 did not inhibit acquisition of the streptomycin-resistant variant. Colonization by a challenge strain did not significantly affect the level of colonization with the resident strain. These results provide evidence that is consistent with several hitherto untested assumptions of mathematical models of serotype replacement and suggest that a biological mechanism exists that could account for serotype replacement that is observed in clinical trials. The findings provide a basis for further studies of in vivo interactions between strains of S. pneumoniae.
  • Authors

    Published In

  • Vaccine  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 11497259
  • Author List

  • Lipsitch M; Dykes JK; Johnson SE; Ades EW; King J; Briles DE; Carlone GM
  • Start Page

  • 2895
  • End Page

  • 2901
  • Volume

  • 18
  • Issue

  • 25