Vaccination reduces morbidity and mortality from pneumonia, but its effect on the tissue-level response to infection is still poorly understood. We evaluated pneumonia disease progression, acute-phase response, and lung gene expression profiles in mice inoculated intranasally with virulent Gram-positive Streptococcus pneumoniae serotype 3 (ST 3) with and without prior immunization with pneumococcal polysaccharide ST 3 (PPS3) or after coimmunization with PPS3 and a low dose of lipopolysaccharide (PPS3+LPS). Pneumonia severity was assessed in the acute phase at 5, 12, 24 and 48 h postinoculation (p.i.) and in the resolution phase at 7 days p.i. Primary PPS3-specific antibody production was upregulated, and IgM binding to pneumococci increased in PPS3-immunized mice. Immunizations with PPS3 or PPS3+LPS decreased bacterial recovery in the lung and blood at 24 and 48 h and increased survival. Microarray analysis of whole-lung RNA revealed significant changes in the acute-phase protein serum amyloid A (SAA) levels between noninfected and infected mice, and these changes were attenuated by immunization. SAA transcripts were higher in the liver and lungs of infected controls, and SAA protein was elevated in serum but decreased in PPS3-immunized mice. Thus, during a virulent pneumonia infection, prior immunization with PPS3 in an IgM-dependent manner as well as immunization with PPS3+LPS attenuated pneumonia severity and promoted resolution of infection, concomitant with significant regulation of cytokine gene expression levels in the lungs and acute-phase proteins in the lungs, liver, and serum.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Immunology and Allergy
- Clinical Biochemistry
- Microbiology (medical)