Antipneumococcal effects of C-reactive protein and monoclonal antibodies to pneumococcal cell wall and capsular antigens

Academic Article


  • Antibodies to pneumococcal capsular polysaccharides are well known for their ability to protect against pneumococcal infection. Recent studies indicate that antibodies to cell wall antigens, including pneumococcal surface protein A and the phosphocholine (PC) determinant of teichoic acids as well as human C-reactive protein (which also binds to PC), can protect mice against pneumococcal infection. In the present study we compared the protective effects of these agents as measured by mouse protection, the blood bactericidal assay, and clearance of pneumococci from the blood and peritoneal cavity. Our findings extend previous results indicating that human C-reactive protein and antibodies to noncapsular antigens are generally less protective than anticapsular antibodies. The new results obtained indicate the following: (i) mouse protection studies with intraperitoneal and intravenous infections provide very similar results; (ii) monoclonal immunoglobulin G2a (IgG2a) antibodies to PC, like IgG1, IgG2b, and IgG3 antibodies to PC, are highly protective against pneumococcal infection in mice; (iii) human antibody to PC is able to protect against pneumococcal infection in mice; (iv) antibodies to PspA are effective at mediating blood and peritoneal clearance of pneumococci; (v) complement is required for the in vivo protective effects of both IgG and IgM antibodies to PC; (vi) IgG1, IgG2b, and IgG3 anti-PC antibodies all mediate complement-dependent lysis of PC-conjugated erythrocytes; and (vii) antibodies and human C-reactive proteins that are reactive with capsular antigens but not cell wall antigens are able to mediate significant antibacterial activity in the blood bactericidal assay.
  • Published In

    Author List

  • Briles DE; Forman C; Horowitz JC; Volanakis JE; Benjamin WH; McDaniel LS; Eldridge J; Brooks J
  • Start Page

  • 1457
  • End Page

  • 1464
  • Volume

  • 57
  • Issue

  • 5