Antibody responses induced by long-term vaccination with an octovalent conjugate Pseudomonas aeruginosa vaccine in children with cystic fibrosis


  • Editor: Willem van Eden

  • Present address: Adrian W. Zuercher, Nestlé Research Center, Vers-chez-les-Blancs, Lausanne, Switzerland

  • Present address: Michael P. Horn, Molecular Diagnostic, Inselspital, Bern, Switzerland

  • Present address: John U. Que, University of Massachusetts School of Medicine, Worcester, MA, USA

Correspondence: Paul Marcus, Hutswell Farm, Oakford, Devon EX16 9JE, UK. Tel./fax: +44 1398 351483; e-mail:


We assessed the serological responses over 10 years to repeated immunization of cystic fibrosis (CF) patients with an O-polysaccharide (OPS)–toxin A conjugate vaccine against Pseudomonas aeruginosa. A retrospective analysis was performed with sera from 25 vaccinated and 25 unvaccinated children treated at the same CF centre and matched for clinical management, age and gender. Yearly immunization led to sustained elevations of serum immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibody levels to all vaccine components. Eighteen unvaccinated patients but only eight vaccinated ones developed chronic pseudomonal lung infections. Infection rapidly caused further marked elevations of polysaccharide- but not toxin A-specific serum IgG in both immunized and nonimmunized patients, indicating that protection did not depend on the quantity of IgG present. However, qualitative analyses revealed that the protective capacity of specific serum IgG antibodies was linked to high affinity and to specificity for OPS serotypes rather than for lipopolysaccharide core epitopes.