(19)
(11)EP 2 275 123 A2

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT APPLICATION

(43)Date of publication:
19.01.2011 Bulletin 2011/03

(21)Application number: 10011323.2

(22)Date of filing:  01.04.2003
(51)Int. Cl.: 
A61K 39/09  (2006.01)
A61K 39/385  (2006.01)
C07K 1/00  (2006.01)
A61K 39/00  (2006.01)
A61K 39/02  (2006.01)
(84)Designated Contracting States:
AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HU IE IT LI LU MC NL PT RO SE SI SK TR

(30)Priority: 02.04.2002 US 368981 P

(62)Application number of the earlier application in accordance with Art. 76 EPC:
03745390.9 / 1490104

(71)Applicant: Ben Gurion University Of The Negev Research And Development Authority
84106 Beer Sheva (IL)

(72)Inventor:
  • The designation of the inventor has not yet been filed
     ()

(74)Representative: Wachenfeld, Joachim 
Vossius & Partner Siebertstrasse 4
81675 München
81675 München (DE)

 
Remarks:
This application was filed on 28-09-2010 as a divisional application to the application mentioned under INID code 62.
 


(54)Protein-based streptococcus pneumoniae vaccines


(57) The present invention relates to a vaccine composition comprising as an active ingredient an effective amount of an isolated S. pneumoniae phosphoenolpyruvate protein phosphotransferase (PPP, Accession No. NP_345645), optionally together with one or more pharmaceutically acceptable adjuvant(s).


Description

Field of the Invention



[0001] The present invention relates to a method for vaccinating subjects against infection with Streptococcus pneumoniae. More specifically, the present invention provides a vaccination method based on the use of immunogenic S. pneumoniae cell wall and cell membrane proteins, as well as vaccine compositions comprising said proteins.

Background of the Invention



[0002] The Gram-positive bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae is a major cause of disease, suffering and death worldwide. Diseases caused by infection with this agent include otitis media, pneumonia, bacteremia, meningitis and sepsis. In some cases, infected individuals may become asymptomatic carriers of S. pneumoniae, thereby readily allowing the rapid spread of this infective agent throughout the population. In view of the serious consequences of infection with S. pneumoniae, as well as its rapid spread within and between populations, there is an urgent need for safe, effective vaccination regimes.

[0003] Current methods of vaccination are based on inoculation of the subject with polysaccharides obtained from the capsules of S. pneumoniae. While these polysaccharide-based vaccine preparations have been found to be reasonably efficacious when used to prevent infection in adult populations, they are significantly less useful in the treatment of young children (under two years of age) and the elderly. One commonly-used capsular polysaccharide 23-valent vaccine, for example, has been found to be only 60% effective in preventing S. pneumoniae invasive' disease in elderly subjects and completely incapable of yielding clinically-useful antibody responses in the under-two age group [Shapiro. E.D. et al. (1991) N. Engl. J. Med. 325: 1453-1460].

[0004] In an attempt to increase the immunogenicity of these vaccines, various compositions comprising capsular polysaccharides that have been conjugated with various carrier or adjuvant proteins have been used. Although vaccines of this type constitute an improvement in relation to the unconjugated polysaccharide vaccines, they have not overcome the problem of coverage, since they are effective against only about 10 % of the 92 known capsular serotypes. Consequently, upon vaccination, repopulation with serotypes not present in the vaccine occurs.

[0005] In the cases of certain other bacteria of pathogenic importance for human and other mammalian species, vaccines comprising immunogenic virulence proteins are currently being developed. Such protein-based vaccines should be of particular value in the case of vulnerable subjects such as very young children, in view of the fact that such subjects are able to produce antibodies against foreign proteins. Unfortunately, very little is known of the molecular details of the life cycle of S. pneumoniae, or of the nature of role of the various virulence factors which are known or thought to be involved in targeting and infection of susceptible hosts.

[0006] It is a purpose of the present invention to provide a method for protecting individuals against infection with S. pneumoniae by the use of a protein-based vaccine.

[0007] It is another purpose of the invention to provide a protein-based vaccine that is prepared from the immunogenic cell wall and/or cell membrane proteins of S. pneumoniae.

[0008] It is yet another purpose of the invention to provide a vaccination method that overcomes the problems and drawbacks of prior art methods.

[0009] Further objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent as the description proceeds.

Summary of the Invention



[0010] It has now been found that it is possible to protect individuals against infection with S. pneumonias by means of administering to said individuals a vaccine composition comprising one or more proteins isolated from the outer layers of the aforementioned bacteria. Unexpectedly, it was found that such vaccine compositions are effective against a wide range of different S. pneumoniae serotypes, and in all age groups, including those age groups which do not produce anti-S. pneumoniae antibodies following inoculation with polysaccharide-based vaccines.

[0011] The present invention is primarily directed to a method for preventing infection of mammalian subjects with S. pneumoniae, wherein said method comprises administering to a subject in need of such treatment an effective amount of one or more S. pneumoniae cell wall and/or cell membrane proteins, wherein said proteins are selected from the group consisting of:

phosphoenolpyruvate protein phosphotransferase, phosphomannomutase, trigger factor, elongation factor G, tetracycline resistance protein (tetO), DNA directed RNA polymerase alpha-chain, NADH oxidase, glutamyl-tRNA amidotransferase subunit A, N utilization substance protein A homolog, XAA-HIS dipeptidase, cell division protein ftsz, zinc metalloproteinase in SCAA 5' region (ORF 6), L-lactate dehydrogenase, glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH), fructose-biphosphate aldolase, UDP-glucose 4-epimerase, GTP binding protein typA/BipA, GMP synthase, glutamyl-tRNA synthetase, NADP-specific glutamate dehydrogenase, Elongation factor TS, phosphoglycerate kinase (cell wall protein), pyridine nucleotide-disulfide oxido-reductase, 40S ribosomal protein S1, 6-phosphogluconate dehydrogenase, aminopeptidase C, carbomyl-phosphate synthase (large subunit), PTS system mannose-specific IIAB components, ribosomal protein S2, dihydroorotate dehydrogenase, aspartate carbamoyltransferase, elongation factor Tu, Pneumococcal surface immunogenic protein A (PsipA), phosphogycerate kinase (cell membrane protein), ABC transporter substrate-binding protein, endopeptidase O, Pneumococcal surface immunogenic protein B (PsipB) and Pneumococcal surface immunogenic protein C (PsipC).



[0012] The means used to identify the aforementioned S. pneumoniae proteins, and their unique public access database accession codes will be disclosed and described hereinbelow.

[0013] In a preferred embodiment of the method of the present invention, one or more adjuvants may be optionally administered to the subject together with one or more of the aforementioned S. pneumoniae cell wall and/or cell membrane proteins.

[0014] In one particularly preferred embodiment, the method of the present invention for preventing infection of mammalian subjects by S. pneumoniae comprises administering to a subject in need of such treatment an effective amount of S. pneumoniae glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH).

[0015] In another particularly preferred embodiment, the method of the present invention for preventing infection of mammalian subjects by S. pneumoniae comprises administering to a subject in need of such treatment an effective amount of S. pneumoniae fructose-biphosphate aldolase.

[0016] In one preferred embodiment of the method of the invention, the cell wall and/or cell membrane proteins are S. pneumoniae proteins that are associated with an age-related immune response.

[0017] The term "age-related immune response" (as used throughout this application) indicates that the ability of subjects to produce antibodies to the protein or proteins causing said immune response increases with age. In the case of human subjects, said ability is measured over a time scale beginning with neonates and ending at approximately age four years and adults. In non-human mammalian subjects, the "age-related immune response" is measured over an age range extending from neonates to an age at which the immune system of the young mammal is at a stage of development comparable to that of a pre-puberty human child and adults.

[0018] In another preferred embodiment of the method of the invention, the cell wall and/or cell membrane proteins are lectins.

[0019] In another preferred embodiment of the method of the invention, the cell wall and/or cell membrane proteins are non-lectins.

[0020] In another preferred embodiment of the method of the invention, the cell wall and/or cell membrane proteins are a mixture of lectins and non-lectins.

[0021] The term "lectins" is used hereinabove and hereinbelow to indicate proteins having the ability to specifically bind to polysaccharides or oligosaccharides. Conversely, the term "non-lectins" is used to refer to proteins lacking the aforementioned saccharide-binding property.

[0022] In one preferred embodiment of the method of the invention, the mammalian subject is a human subject.

[0023] In another aspect, the present invention is directed to a vaccine composition comprising as the active ingredient one or more cell wall and/or cell membrane proteins isolated from S. pneumoniae, wherein said proteins are selected from the group consisting of:

phosphoenolpyruvate protein phosphotransferase, phosphomannomutase, trigger factor, elongation factor G, tetracycline resistance protein (tetO), DNA directed RNA polymerase alpha-chain, NADH oxidase, glutamyl-tRNA amidotransferase subunit A, N utilization substance protein A homolog, XAA-HIS dipeptidase, cell division protein ftsz, zinc metalloproteinase in SCAA 5' region (ORF 6), L-lactate dehydrogenase, glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH), fructose-biphosphate aldolase, UDP-glucose 4-epimerase, GTP binding protein typA/BipA, GMP synthase, glutamyl-tRNA synthetase, NADP-specific glutamate dehydrogenase, Elongation factor TS, phosphoglycerate kinase (cell wall protein), pyridine nucleotide-disulfide oxido-reductase, 40S ribosomal protein S1, 6-phosphogluconate dehydrogenase, aminopeptidase C, carbomyl-phosphate synthase (large subunit), PTS system mannose-specific IIAB components, ribosomal protein S2, dihydroorotate dehydrogenase, aspartate carbamoyltransferase, elongation factor Tu, Pneumococcal surface immunogenic protein A (PsipA), phosphogycerate kinase (cell membrane protein), ABC transporter substrate-binding protein and endopeptidase O, Pneumococcal surface immunogenic protein B (PsipB) and Pneumococcal surface immunogenic protein C (PsipC).



[0024] The vaccine compositions of the present invention may also contain other, non-immunologically-specific additives, diluents and excipients. For example, in many cases, the vaccine compositions of the present invention may contain - in addition to the S. pneumoniae cell-wall and/or cell-membrane protein(s) - one or more adjuvants.

[0025] In one particularly .preferred embodiment, the vaccine composition of the present invention comprises an effective amount of S. pneumoniae glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) as the active ingredient.

[0026] In another particularly preferred embodiment of the present invention, the vaccine composition comprises an effective amount of S. pneumoniae fructose-biphosphate aldolase as the active ingredient.

[0027] The aforementioned vaccine compositions may clearly be used for preventing infection of the mammalian subjects inoculated therewith by S. pneumoniae. However, said vaccine composition is not restricted to this use alone. Rather it may be usefully employed to prevent infection by any infectious agent whose viability or proliferation may be inhibited by the antibodies generated by a host in response to the inoculation therein of the one or more S. pneumoniae proteins provided in said composition.

[0028] In one preferred embodiment of the vaccine composition of the present invention, the cell wall and/or cell membrane proteins are S. pneumoniae proteins that are associated with an age-related immune response.

[0029] In another preferred embodiment of the vaccine composition of the present invention, the cell wall and/or cell membrane proteins are lectins.

[0030] In another preferred embodiment of the vaccine composition of the present invention, the cell wall and/or cell membrane proteins are non-lectins.

[0031] In a further preferred embodiment of the vaccine composition of the present invention, the cell wall and/or cell membrane proteins are a mixture of lectins and non-lectins.

[0032] The present invention also encompasses the use of one or more S. pneumoniae cell wall and/or cell membrane proteins in the preparation of a vaccine for use in the prevention of diseases and carrier states caused by said S pneumoniae, wherein said proteins are selected from the group consisting of:

phosphoenolpyruvate protein phosphotransferase, phosphomannomutase, trigger factor, elongation factor G, tetracycline resistance protein (tetO), DNA directed RNA polymerase alpha-chain, NADH oxidase, glutamyl-tRNA amidotransferase subunit A, N utilization substance protein A homolog, XAA-HIS dipeptidase, cell division protein ftsz, zinc metalloproteinase in SCAA 5' region (ORF 6), L-lactate dehydrogenase, glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH), fructose-biphosphate aldolase, UDP-glucose 4-epimerase, GTP binding protein typA/BipA, GMP synthase, glutamyl-tRNA synthetase, NADP-specific glutamate dehydrogenase, Elongation factor TS, phosphoglycerate kinase (cell wall protein), pyridine nucleotide-disulfide oxido-reductase, 40S ribosomal protein S1, 6-phosphogluconate dehydrogenase, aminopeptidase C, carbomyl-phosphate synthase (large subunit), PTS system mannose-specific IIAB components, ribosomal protein S2, dihydroorotate dehydrogenase, aspartate carbamoyltransferase, elongation factor Tu, Pneumococcal surface immunogenic protein A (PsipA), phosphogycerate kinase (cell membrane protein), ABC transporter substrate-binding protein endopeptidase O, Pneumococcal surface immunogenic protein B (PsipB) and Pneumococcal surface immunogenic protein C (PsipC).



[0033] In one particularly preferred embodiment, the protein used in the preparation of the vaccine is S. pneumoniae glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH).

[0034] In another particularly preferred embodiment of the present invention, the protein used in the preparation of the vaccine is S. pneumoniae fructose-biphosphate aldolase.

[0035] Preferably, the cell wall and/or cell membrane proteins used in the preparation of said vaccine are S. pneumoniae proteins that are associated with an age-related immune response.

[0036] In another preferred embodiment, the cell wall and/or cell membrane proteins used in the preparation of the abovementioned vaccine are lectins.

[0037] In yet another preferred embodiment the cell wall and/or cell membrane proteins used in the preparation of the abovementioned vaccine are non-lectins.

[0038] In a further preferred embodiment, the cell wall and/or cell membrane proteins used in the preparation of the abovementioned vaccine are a mixture of lectins and non-lectins.

[0039] The present invention is also directed to one or more S. pneumoniae cell wall and/or cell membrane proteins for use as a vaccine for the prevention of diseases and carrier states caused by said S pneumoniae, wherein said proteins are selected from the group consisting of:

phosphoenolpyruvate protein phosphotransferase, phosphomannomutase, trigger factor, elongation factor G, tetracycline resistance protein (tetO), DNA directed RNA polymerase alpha-chain, NADH oxidase, glutamyl-tRNA amidotransferase subunit A, N utilization substance protein A homolog, XAA-HIS dipeptidase, cell division protein ftsz, zinc metalloproteinase in SCAA 5' region (ORF 6), L-lactate dehydrogenase, glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH), fructose-biphosphate aldolase, UDP-glucose 4-epimerase, GTP binding protein typA/BipA, GMP synthase, glutamyl-tRNA synthetase, NADP-specific glutamate dehydrogenase, Elongation factor TS, phosphoglycerate kinase (cell wall protein), pyridine nucleotide-disulfide oxido-reductase, 40S ribosomal protein S1, 6-phosphogluconate dehydrogenase, aminopeptidase C, carbomyl-phosphate synthase (large subunit), PTS system mannose-specific IIAB components, ribosomal protein S2, dihydroorotate dehydrogenase, aspartate carbamoyltransferase, elongation factor Tu, Pneumococcal surface immunogenic protein A (PsipA), phosphogycerate kinase (cell membrane protein), ABC transporter substrate-binding protein, endopeptidase O, Pneumococcal surface immunogenic protein B (PsipB) and Pneumococcal surface immunogenic protein C (PsipC).



[0040] In one particularly preferred embodiment, the protein for use as said vaccine is S. pneumoniae glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH).

[0041] In another particularly preferred embodiment of the present invention, the protein for use as said vaccine is S. pneumoniae fructose-biphosphate aldolase.

[0042] In one preferred embodiment, the cell wall and/or cell membrane proteins for use as described above are S. pneumoniae proteins associated with an age-related immune response.

[0043] In another preferred embodiment, the aforementioned cell wall and/or cell membrane proteins are lectins.

[0044] In a further preferred embodiment, the aforementioned cell wall and/or cell membrane proteins are non-lectins.

[0045] In a still further preferred embodiment, the aforementioned cell wall and/or cell membrane proteins are a mixture of lectins and non-lectins.

[0046] It is to be noted that when the S. pneumoniae proteins used in the aforementioned methods, compositions and vaccines are lectins, said methods, compositions and vaccines are particularly efficacious in the prevention of localized S. pneumoniae infections. In one preferred embodiment, the localized infections are infections of mucosal tissue, particularly of nasal and other respiratory mucosa. Conversely, when the S. pneumoniae proteins used in the aforementioned methods, compositions and vaccines are non-lectins, said methods, compositions and vaccines are particularly efficacious in the prevention of intraperitoneal and systemic S. pneumoniae infections.

[0047] All of the above and other characteristics and advantages of the present invention will be further understood from the following illustrative and non-limitative examples of preferred embodiments thereof.

Brief Description of the Drawings



[0048] 

Fig. 1 is a photograph of a Western blot in which the sera of mice. immunized with (A) recombinant GAPDH and (B) recombinant fructose-biphosphate aldolase are seen to recognize the corresponding native proteins (CW) (in an electrophoretically-separated total cell wall protein preparation), and the corresponding recombinant protein (R).

Fig. 2 is a photograph of a Western blot in which the sera of mice immunized with pVAC constructs containing the cDNA of S. pneumoniae fructose-biphosphate aldolase (A) and GAPDH (B) are seen to recognize the corresponding native proteins from electrophoretically-separated total cell wall protein preparation. Sera obtained following immunization with the pVAC parental plasmid did not recognize either of the two proteins (C).

Fig. 3 is a graph describing the ability of recombinant GAPDH and fructose-biphosphate aldolase to elicit a protective immune response to intraperitoneal and intranasal challenge with a lethal dose of S. pneumoniae in the mouse model system.


Detailed Description of Preferred Embodiments



[0049] Vaccination protects individuals (and by extension, populations) from the harmful effects of pathogenic agents, such as bacteria, by inducing a specific immunological response to said pathogenic agents in the vaccinated subject.

[0050] Vaccines are generally, but not exclusively, administered by means of injection, generally by way of the intramuscular, intradermal or subcutaneous routes. Some vaccines may also be administered by the intravenous, intraperitoneal, nasal or oral routes.

[0051] The S. pneumoniae-protein containing preparations of the invention can be administered as either single or multiple doses of an effective amount of said protein. The term "effective amount" is used herein to indicate that the vaccine is administered in an amount sufficient to induce or boost a specific immune response, such that measurable amounts (or an increase in the measurable amounts) of one or more antibodies directed against the S. pneumoniae proteins used, may be detected in the serum or plasma of the vaccinated subject. The precise weight of protein or proteins that constitutes an "effective amount" will depend upon many factors including the age, weight and physical condition of the subject to be vaccinated. The precise quantity also depends upon the capacity of the subject's immune system to produce antibodies, and the degree of protection desired. Effective dosages can be readily established by one of ordinary skill in the art through routine trials establishing dose response curves. However, for the purposes of the present invention, effective amounts of the compositions of the invention can vary from 0.01-1,000 µg/ml per dose, more preferably 0.1-500 µg/ml per dose, wherein the usual dose size is 1 ml.

[0052] The vaccines of the present invention will generally comprise an effective amount of one or more S. pneumoniae proteins as the active component, suspended in an appropriate vehicle. In the case of intranasal formulations, for example, said formulations may include vehicles that neither cause irritation to the nasal mucosa nor significantly disturb ciliary function. Diluents such as water, aqueous saline may also be added. The nasal formulations may also contain preservatives including, but not limited to, chlorobutanol and benzalkonium chloride. A surfactant may be present to enhance absorption of the subject proteins by the nasal mucosa. An additional mode of antigen delivery may include an encapsulation technique, which involves complex coacervation of gelatin and chondroitin sulfate (Azhari R, Leong K W. 1991. Complex coacervation of chondroitin sulfate and gelatin and its use for encapsulation and slow release of a model protein. Proc. Symp. Control. Rel. 18:617; Brown KE, Leong K, Huang CH, Dalal R, Green GD, Haimes HB, Jimenez PA, Bathon J. 1998. Gelatin/chondroitin 6-sulfate microspheres for delivery of therapeutic proteins to the joint. Arthritis Rheum 41:2185-2195).

[0053] The present invention also encompasses within its scope the preparation and use of DNA vaccines. Vaccination methods and compositions of this type are well known in the art and are comprehensively described in many different articles, monographs and books (see, for example, chapter 11 of "Molecular Biotechnology: principles and applications of recombinant DNA" eds. B.R. Glick & J.J. Pasternak, ASM Press, Washington, D.C., 2nd edition, 1998). In principle, DNA vaccination is achieved by cloning the cDNAs for the desired immunogen into a suitable DNA vaccine vector, such as the pVAC vector (Invivogen). In the case of pVAC, the desired immunogenic proteins are targeted and anchored to the cell surface by cloning the gene of interest in frame between the IL2 signal sequence and the C-terminal transmembrane anchoring domain of human placental alkaline phosphatase. Such DNA vaccine vectors are specifically designed to stimulate humoral immune responses by intramuscular injection. The antigenic peptide produced on the surface of muscle cells is taken up by antigen presenting cells (APCs) and processed through the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II pathway.

[0054] Oral liquid preparations may be in the form of, for example, aqueous or oily suspension, solutions, emulsions, syrups or elixirs, or may be presented dry in tablet form or a product for reconstitution with water or other suitable vehicle before use. Such liquid preparations may contain conventional additives such as suspending agents, emulsifying agents, non-aqueous vehicles (which may include edible oils), or preservative.

[0055] However, in general, the vaccines of the present invention would normally be administered parenterally, by the intramuscular, intravenous, intradermal or subcutaneous routes, either by injection or by a rapid infusion method. Compositions for parenteral administration include sterile aqueous or non-aqueous solutions, suspensions, and emulsions. Examples of non-aqueous solvents are propylene glycol, polyethylene glycol, vegetable oils such as olive oil, and injectable organic esters such as ethyl oleate. Besides the abovementioned inert diluents and solvents, the vaccine compositions of the invention can also include adjuvants, wetting agents, emulsifying and suspending agents, or sweetening, flavoring, or perfuming agents.

[0056] The aforementioned adjuvants are substances that can be used to augment a specific immune response. Normally, the adjuvant and the composition are mixed prior to presentation to the immune system, or presented separately, but into the same site of the subject being vaccinated. Adjuvants that may be usefully employed in the preparation of vaccines include: oil adjuvants (for example, Freund's complete and incomplete adjuvants, that will be used in animal experiments only and is forbidden from use in humans), mineral salts, alum, silica, kaolin, and carbon, polynucleotides and certain natural substances of microbial origin. An additional mode of antigen delivery may include an encapsulation technique, which involves complex coacervation of gelatin and chondroitin sulfate (Azhari R, Leong K W. 1991. Complex coacervation of chondroitin sulfate and gelatin and its use for encapsulation and slow release of a model protein. Proc. Symp. Control. Rel. 18:617; Brown KE, Leong K, Huang CH, Dalal R, Green GD, Haimes HB, Jimenez PA, Bathon J. 1998. Gelatin/chondroitin 6-sulfate microspheres for delivery of therapeutic proteins to the joint. Arthritis Rheum 41:2185-2195).

[0057] Further examples of materials and methods useful in the preparation of vaccine compositions are well known to those skilled in the art. In addition, further details may be gleaned from Remington's Pharmaceutical Sciences, Mack Publishing Co, Easton, Pa, USA (1980).

[0058] The S. pneumoniae cell-wall and/or cell-membrane proteins for use in working the present invention may be obtained by directly purifying said proteins, from cultures of S. pneumoniae by any of the standard techniques used to prepare and purify cell-surface proteins. Suitable methods are described in many biochemistry text-books, review articles and laboratory guides, including inter alia "Protein Structure: a practical approach" ed. T.E. Creighton, IRL Press, Oxford, UK (1989).

[0059] However, it is to be noted that such an approach suffers many practical limitations that present obstacles for producing commercially-viable quantities of the desired proteins. The S. pneumoniae proteins of the present invention may therefore be more conveniently prepared by means of recombinant biotechnological means, whereby the gene for the S. pneumoniae protein of interest is isolated and inserted into an appropriate expression vector system (such as a plasmid or phage), which is then introduced into a host cell that will permit large-scale production of said protein by means of, for example, overexpression.

[0060] As a first stage, the location of the genes of interest within the S. pneumoniae genome may be determined by reference to a complete-genome database such as the TIGR database that is maintained by the Institute for Genomic Research (web site: http://www.tigr.org/). The selected sequence may, where appropriate, be isolated directly by the use of appropriate restriction endonucleases, or more effectively by means of PCR amplification. Suitable techniques are described in, for example, US patent Nos. 4,683,195, 4,683,202, 4,800,159, 4,965,188, as well as in Innis et al. eds., PCR Protocols: A guide to method and applications.

[0061] Following amplification and/or restriction endonuclease digestion, the desired gene or gene fragment is ligated either initially into a cloning vector, or directly into an expression vector that is appropriate for the chosen host cell type. In the case of the S. pneumoniae proteins, Escherichia coli is the most useful expression host. However, many other cell types may be also be usefully employed including other bacteria, yeast cells, insect cells and mammalian cell systems.

[0062] High-level expression of the desired protein within the host cell may be achieved in several different ways (depending on the chosen expression vector) including expression as a fusion protein (e.g. with factor Xa or thrombin), expression as a His-tagged protein, dual vector systems, expression systems leading to incorporation of the recombinant protein inside inclusion bodies etc. The recombinant protein will then need to be isolated from the cell membrane, interior, inclusion body or (in the case of secreted proteins) the culture medium, by one of the many methods known in the art.

[0063] All of the above recombinant DNA and protein purification techniques are well known to all skilled artisans in the field, the details of said techniques being described in many standard works including "Molecular cloning: a laboratory manual" by Sambrook, J., Fritsch, E.F. & Maniatis, T., Cold Spring Harbor, NY, 2nd ed., 1989, which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.

[0064] The following examples are provided for illustrative purposes and in order to more particularly explain and describe the present invention. The present invention, however, is not limited to the particular embodiments disclosed in the examples.

Example 1


Prevention of S. pneumoniae infection in mice by inoculation with S. pneumoniae cell wall protein fractions


Methods:


Bacterial cells:



[0065] The bacterial strain used in this study was an S. pneumoniae serotype 3 strain. The bacteria were plated onto tryptic soy agar supplemented with 5% sheep erythrocytes and incubated for 17-18 hours at 37°C under anaerobic conditions. The bacterial cells were then transferred to Todd-Hewitt broth supplemented with 0-5% yeast extract and grown to mid-late log phase. Bacteria were harvested and the pellets were stored at -70°C.

Purification of cell wall proteins:



[0066] Bacterial pellets were resuspended in phosphate buffered saline (PBS). The resulting pellets were then treated with mutanolysin to release cell wall (CW) components. Supernatants containing the CW proteins were then harvested. Subsequently, the bacteria were sonicated and centrifuged and the resulting pellet containing the bacteria membranes (m) were lysed with 0.5% triton X-100.

Fractionation of the cell wall protein mixture:



[0067] Cell wall protein-containing supernatants were allowed to adhere to fetuin (a highly glycosylated pan-lectin binding protein) that was covalently bound to a sepharose column. Non-adherent molecules, obtained from the flow-through fraction were predominantly non-lectin molecules, while the column-adherent lectins were eluted with 50 mM ammonium acetate at pH 3.5.

[0068] Experimental: S. pneumoniae cell wall (CW) proteins were separated into lectin (CW-L) and non-lectin (NL) fractions by fetuin affinity chromatography, as described hereinabove. C57BL/6 and BALB/c mice were vaccinated with S. pneumoniae total CW (CW-T), CW-L and CW-NL protein preparations mixed with Freund's adjuvant, by means of the following procedure:

each mouse was primed with 25 micrograms of CW-T, CW-NL and CW-L protein preparations intramuscularly, with complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA) and boosted with incomplete Freund's adjuvant (IFA), 4 and 7 weeks following priming. Western blots of the abovementioned protein preparations were probed with sera obtained a week after the last immunization. Animals were then challenged intranasally (IN) or intraperitoneally (IP) with 108 cfu of S. pneumoniae serotype 3, that caused 100% mortality in control mice immunized with CFA and boosted with IFA only within 96 hours post-inoculation. Vaccination with CW-L elicited partial protection against S. Pneumoniae IN and IP challenge (50% and 45% respectively). Vaccination with CW-T and CW-NL proteins elicited 70% and 65% protection against IP challenge, respectively. Vaccination with CW-T and CW-NL proteins elicited 85% and 50% protection against IN inoculation, respectively.


Example 2


Determination of age-related immunoreactivity to S. pneumoniae surface proteins



[0069] The following study was carried out in order to investigate the age-related development of immunoreactivity to S. pneumoniae cell wall and cell membrane proteins.

[0070] Operating as described hereinabove in Example 1, a fraction containing cell wall proteins was obtained from a clinical isolate of S. pneumoniae. In addition, cell membrane proteins were recovered by solubilizing the membrane pellet (described hereinabove in Example 1) in 0.5% Triton X-100. The cell wall and cell membrane proteins were separated by means of two-dimensional gel electrophoresis, wherein the polyacrylamide gel isoelectric focusing in the one dimension and the proteins were separated using sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) in the other dimension.

[0071] The ability of serum prepared from blood samples of children aged 1.5, 2.5 and 3.5 years and adults to recognize the separated S. pneumoniae proteins was investigated by Western blot analysis according to the methods described by Rapola S. et al. [J. Infect. Dis. (2000) 182: 1146-52].

[0072] Putative identification of the separated protein spots obtained following the 2D-electrophoresis was achieved by the use of the Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization mass spectrometery (MALDI-MS) technique.

[0073] Results of the above analysis are summarized in the following table:
Age-dependent immunoreactivity to S. pneumoniae surface proteins(total, pH 4-6.5)
spot= I proteihomologyage 1.5age 2.5age 3.5adult
nr.per spot     
1 2 DNA K/phosphoenolpyruvate protein phosphotransferase * * * *
3   1 trigger factor * * * *
4 2 60kDa chaperonin (proteinCPN60) (GroEL protein) ** * ** ***
    elongation factor G/tetracyline resistance protein teto (TET(O))        
7 2 Glutamyl-tRNA Amidotransferase subunit A/N utilization substance protein A homolog. - -- ? ---
11 2 Oligopeptide-bindins protein amiA/aliA/aliB precursor ? ? ? ?
    hypothetical zinc metalloproteinase in SCAA 5'region (ORF 6)        
12 1 pneumolysin thiol-actived cytolysin *   * **
13 1 L-lactate dehydrogenase * ** * ?
14 1 Glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) * ** *** ***
15 1 fructosa-biohosphate aldose ** *** *** ***
16 1 UDP-glucose 4-epimerase ** * ? ?
17 2 elongation factor G/tetracycline resistance protein teto (TET(O)) * ** ? ?
    gtp binding protein typA/BipA        
18 1 pyruvate oxidase *** *** *** ***
22 1 Glutamyl-tRNA synthetase * **       ?
23 1 NADP-specific glutamate dehydrogenase * *   *
24 1 Glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) * ** *** ***
25 1 Enolase (2-phosphoglycerate dehydratase) * ** ** **
27 1 phosphoglycerate kinase * ** ** **
29 1 glucose-5-phosphate isomerase   * * **
30 2 40S ribosomal protein S1/6-phosphogluconate dehydrogenase     ? ?
31 1 aminopeptidase C     ? ?
new spots            
33       * ** ***
53/62     ** *** *** ***
57/65         ......  
53     ** * ? ?
The data presented in the preceding table indicate that there is an age-dependent development of immunoreactivity to several S. pneumoniae cell wall and cell surface proteins.

Example 3


Prevention of S. pneumoniae infection in mice by inoculation with recombinantly-expressed S. pneumoniae cell surface proteins


Cloning of immunogenic S. pneumoniae surface proteins:



[0074] S. pneumoniae fructose-biphosphate aldolase (hereinafter referred to as "aldolase") and-Glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) proteins were cloned into the pHAT expression vector (Clontech) and expressed in E. coli BL21 cells (Promega Corp., USA) using standard laboratory procedures. Following lysis of the BL21 cells, recombinant proteins were purified by the use of immobilized metal affinity chromatography (IMAC) on Ni-NTa columns (Qiagen) and eluted with imidazole. In a separate set of experiments, S. pneumoniae aldolase cDNAs were cloned into the pVAC expression vector (Invivogen), a DNA vaccine vector specifically designed to stimulate a humoral immune response by intramuscular injection. Antigenic proteins are targeted and anchored to the cell surface by cloning the gene of interest in frame between the IL2 signal sequence and the C-terminal transmembrane anchoring domain of human placental alkaline phosphatase. The antigenic peptide produced on the surface of muscle cells is taken up by antigen presenting cells (APCs) and processed through the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II pathway.

Immunization:



[0075] BALB/c and C57BL/6 mice (7 week old females) were intramuscularly immunized with 25 micrograms of either recombinant aldolase or recombinant GAPDH proteins together with either Freund's complete adjuvant (CFA) or an alum adjuvant. In a separate set of experiments, mice of the aforementioned strains were intramuscularly immunized with 50 micrograms of the pVAC-aldolase or pVAC-GAPDH constructs that were described hereinabove.

Assessment of immunogenicity:



[0076] The immunogenicity of recombinant S. pneumoniae aldolase and GAPDH proteins (1-2 micrograms of each one) was assessed by Western blot assay using serum of mice that had been immunized with either total cell wall proteins (CW-T) or with one of the recombinant proteins (as described hereinabove). The results obtained (Fig. 1) indicate that the sera of the immunized animals recognized both recombinant GAPDH and aldolase proteins, and the native GAPDH and aldolase proteins present in the CW-T mixture.

[0077] In a separate set of experiments the serum of mice that had been immunized with the pVAC-aldolase or pVAC-GAPDH constructs, as described above, was used to detect native aldolase and GAPDH, respectively in Western blots obtained from SDS-PAGE separations of CW-T proteins. The results obtained (Fig. 2) indicate that inoculation with the pVAC-based constructs is capable of eliciting an immune response. Sera of mice vaccinated with the parental pVAC plasmid (i.e. without insert) did not, however, react with the CW-T proteins.

Protective vaccination:



[0078] Following immunization with the recombinant proteins as described hereinabove, the mice were challenged intranasally with a lethal dose of 106 CFU of S. pneumoniae serotype 3. None of the control animals (immunization with either CFA or alum only) survived the bacterial challenge. However, 36% of the animals immunized with the recombinant aldolase protein, in CFA and 36% of the animals immunized with the same proteins in alum survived the challenge. Following immunization with the pVAC-aldolase construct, 20% of the animals' survived. With regard to recombinant GAPDH, 36% of the animals immunized with this recombinant protein (in either of the abovementioned adjuvants) survived. Immunization with the pVAC-GAPDH construct, led to a survival rate of 20%, as shown in Fig. 3.

Example 4


S. pneumoniae immunogenic proteins



[0079] Operating essentially as in Example 2, the ability of serum prepared from blood samples of children aged 1.5, 2.5 and 3.5 years and adults to recognize the separated S. pneumoniae proteins was investigated by Western blot analysis according to the methods described by Rapola S. et al. [J. Infect. Dis. (2000) 182: 1146-52].

[0080] Identification of the separated protein spots obtained following the 2D-electrophoresis was achieved by the use of the Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization mass spectrometery (MALDI-MS) technique, and comparison of the partial amino acid sequences obtained thereby with the sequences contained in the TIGR4 and/or R6 databases (maintained by The Institute for Genomic Research).

[0081] The cell surface proteins found to be immunogenic (classified according to their cellular location - cell membrane or cell wall) are summarized in the following table:
List of immunogenic proteins
spotcell wall proteins: homology toaccession code from
  TIGR 4 or R6
1 Phosphoenolpyruvate protein phosphotransferase NP345645
2 Probable phosphomannomutase NP346006
3 Trigger factor NP344923
4 Elongation factor G/tetracycline resistance protein teto (TET(O)) NP344811/P72533
5 DNA directed RNA polymerase alpha-chain G95027
6 NADH oxidase NP345923
7 Glutamyl-tRNA Amidotransferase subunit A NP344960
N utilization substance protein A homolog. P32727
8 XAA-HIS dipeptidase P45494
Cell division protein ftsz. NP346105
11 Hypothetical zinc metalloproteinase in SCAA 5'region (ORF 6) P42358
13 L-lactate dehydrogenase NP345686
14 Glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) NP346439
15 Fructose-biphosphate aldolase NP345117
16 UDP-glucose 4-epimerase NP346261
  GTP binding protein typA/BipA NP358192
21 GMP synthase NP345899
22 Glutamyl-tRNA synthetase NP346492
23 NADP-specific glutamate dehydrogenase NP345679
26 Elongation factor TS NP346622
27 Phosphoglycerate kinase AAK74657
28 Probable pyridine nucleotide-disulfide oxido-reductase P77212
30 40S ribosomal protein S1 NP345350
6-phosphogluconate dehydrogenase NP357929
31 Aminopeptidase C NP344819
33 Carbamoyl-phosphate synthase, large subunit NP345739
57 PTS system, mannose-specific IIAB components NP344822
58 Ribosomal protein S2 NP346623
62 Dihydroorotate dehydrogenase NP358460
65 Aspartate carbamoyltransferase NP345741
  membrane proteins: homology to  
14 Elongation factor Tu NP345941
19 Pneumococcal surface immunogenic protein A (PsipA) NP344634
22 Phosphoglycerate kinase NP358035
40 ABC transporter, substrate-binding protein NP344690
  lectins: homology to  
10 Endopeptidase O NP346087
14 Pneumacoccal surface immunogenic protein B (PsipB) NP358083
Pneumococcal surface immunogenic protein C (PsipC) NP345081


[0082] While specific embodiments of the invention have been described for the purpose of illustration, it will be understood that the invention may be carried out in practice by skilled persons with many modifications, variations and adaptations, without departing from its spirit or exceeding the bounds of the present invention.

[0083] The present invention furthermore relates to the following items:
  1. 1. A method for preventing infection of a mammalian subject with S. pneumoniae, wherein said method comprises administering to said subject an effective amount of one or more S. pneumoniae cell wall and/or cell membrane proteins, wherein said proteins are selected from the group consisting of:

    phosphoenolpyruvate protein phosphotransferase, phosphomannomutase, trigger factor, elongation factor G, tetracycline resistance protein (tetO), DNA directed RNA polymerase alpha-chain, NADH oxidase, glutamyl-tRNA amidotransferase subunit A, N utilization substance protein A homolog, XAA-HIS dipeptidase, cell division protein ftsz, zinc metalloproteinase in SCAA 5' region (ORF 6), L-lactate dehydrogenase, glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH); fructose-biphosphate aldolase, UDP-glucose 4-epimerase, GTP binding protein typA/BipA, GMP synthase, glutamyl-tRNA synthetase, NADP-specific glutamate dehydrogenase, Elongation factor TS, phosphoglycerate kinase (cell wall protein), pyridine nucleotide-disulfide oxido-reductase, 40S ribosomal protein S1, 6-phosphogluconate dehydrogenase, aminopeptidase C, carbomyl-phosphate synthase (large subunit), PTS system mannose-specific IIAB components, ribosomal protein S2, dihydroorotate dehydrogenase, aspartate carbamoyltransferase, elongation factor Tu, Pneumococcal surface immunogenic protein A (PsipA), phosphogycerate kinase (cell membrane protein), ABC transporter substrate-binding protein endopeptidase O, Pneumococcal surface immunogenic protein B (PsipB), Pneumococcal surface immunogenic protein C (PsipC).

  2. 2. The method according to item 1, wherein one or more adjuvants are optionally administered to the subject together with the one or more cell wall and/or cell membrane proteins.
  3. 3. The method according to item 1, wherein the S. pneumoniae protein to be administered is glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH).
  4. 4. The method according to item 1, wherein the S. pneumoniae protein to be administered is fructose-biphosphate aldolase.
  5. 5. The method according to item 1, wherein the one or more S. pneumoniae proteins to be administered are S. pneumoniae proteins that are associated with an age-related immune response.
  6. 6. The method according to item 1, wherein the one or more S. pneumoniae proteins to be administered are lectins.
  7. 7. The method according to item 1, wherein the one or more S. pneumoniae proteins to be administered are non-lectins.
  8. 8. The method according to item 1, wherein the one or more S. pneumoniae proteins to be administered are a mixture of lectins and non-lectins.
  9. 9. The method according to item 8, wherein the subject is a human subject.
  10. 10. A vaccine composition comprising as the active ingredient one or more cell wall and/or cell membrane proteins isolated from S. pneumoniae, wherein said proteins are selected from the group consisting of:

    phosphoenolpyruvate protein phosphotransferase, phosphomannomutase, trigger factor, elongation factor G, tetracycline resistance protein (tetO), DNA directed RNA polymerase alpha-chain, NADH oxidase, glutamyl-tRNA amidotransferase subunit A, N utilization substance protein A homolog, XAA-HIS dipeptidase, cell division protein ftsz, zinc metalloproteinase in SCAA 5' region (ORF 6), L-lactate dehydrogenase, glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH), fructose-biphosphate aldolase, UDP-glucose 4-epimerase, GTP binding protein typA/BipA, GMP synthase, glutamyl-tRNA synthetase, NADP-specific glutamate dehydrogenase, Elongation factor TS, phosphoglycerate kinase (cell wall protein), pyridine nucleotide-disulfide oxido-reductase, 40S ribosomal protein S1, 6-phosphogluconate dehydrogenase, aminopeptidase C, carbomyl-phosphate synthase (large subunit), PTS system mannose-specific IIAB components, ribosomal protein S2, dihydroorotate dehydrogenase, aspartate carbamoyltransferase, elongation factor Tu, Pneumococcal surface immunogenic protein A (PsipA), phosphogycerate kinase (cell membrane protein), ABC transporter substrate-binding protein, endopeptidase O, Pneumococcal surface immunogenic protein B (PsipB), Pneumococcal surface immunogenic protein C (PsipC), optionally together with one or more additives.

  11. 11. The vaccine composition according to item 10, wherein the optional additive is an adjuvant.
  12. 12. The vaccine composition according to item 10, wherein said composition comprises an effective amount of S. pneumoniae glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) as the active ingredient.
  13. 13. The vaccine composition according to item 10, wherein said composition comprises an effective amount of S. pneumoniae fructose-biphosphate aldolase as the active ingredient.
  14. 14. The vaccine composition according to item 10, for use in preventing S. pneumoniae infection of the mammalian subjects inoculated therewith.
  15. 15. The vaccine composition according to item 10, wherein the one or more cell wall and/or cell membrane proteins are S. pneumoniae proteins that are associated with an age-related immune response.
  16. 16. The vaccine composition according to item 10, wherein the one or more S. pneumoniae cell wall and/or cell membrane proteins are lectins.
  17. 17. The vaccine composition according to item 10, wherein the one or more S. pneumoniae cell wall and/or cell membrane proteins are non-lectins.
  18. 18. The vaccine composition according to item 10, wherein the one or more S. pneumoniae cell wall and/or cell membrane proteins are a mixture of lectins and non-lectins.
  19. 19. The use of one or more S. pneumoniae cell wall and/or cell membrane proteins in the preparation of a vaccine for use in the prevention of diseases and carrier states caused by said S pneumoniae, wherein said proteins are selected from the group consisting of:

    phosphoenolpyruvate protein phosphotransferase, phosphomannomutase, trigger factor, elongation factor G, - tetracycline resistance protein (tetO), DNA directed RNA polymerase alpha-chain, NADH oxidase, glutamyl-tRNA amidotransferase subunit A, N utilization substance protein A homolog, XAA-HIS dipeptidase, cell division protein ftsz, zinc metalloproteinase in SCAA 5' region (ORF 6), L-lactate dehydrogenase, glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH), fructose-biphosphate aldolase, UDP-glucose 4-epimerase, GTP binding protein typA/BipA, GMP synthase, glutamyl-tRNA synthetase, NADP-specific glutamate dehydrogenase, Elongation factor TS, phosphoglycerate kinase (cell wall protein), pyridine nucleotide-disulfide oxido-reductase, 40S ribosomal protein S1, 6-phosphogluconate dehydrogenase, aminopeptidase C, carbomyl-phosphate synthase (large subunit), PTS system mannose-specific IIAB components, ribosomal protein S2, dihydroorotate dehydrogenase, aspartate carbamoyltransferase, elongation factor Tu, Pneumococcal surface immunogenic protein A (PsipA), phosphogycerate kinase (cell membrane protein), ABC transporter substrate-binding protein, endopeptidase O, Pneumococcal surface immunogenic protein B (PsipB) and Pneumococcal surface immunogenic protein C(PsipC).

  20. 20. The use according to item 19, wherein the protein used in the preparation of the vaccine is S. pneumoniae glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH).
  21. 21. The use according to item 19, wherein the protein used in the preparation of the vaccine is S. pneumoniae fructose-biphosphate aldolase.
  22. 22. The use according to item 19, wherein the protein(s) used in the preparation of the vaccine are S. pneumoniae proteins that are associated with an age-related immune response.
  23. 23. The use according to item 19, wherein the S. pneumoniae protein(s) used in the preparation of the vaccine are lectins.
  24. 24. The use according to item 19, wherein the S. pneumoniae protein(s) used in the preparation of the vaccine are non-lectins.
  25. 25. The use according to item 19, wherein the S. pneumoniae protein(s) used in the preparation of the vaccine are a mixture of lectins and non-lectins.
  26. 26. One or more S. pneumoniae cell wall and/or cell membrane proteins for use as a vaccine for the prevention of diseases and carrier states caused by said S pneumoniae, wherein said proteins are selected from the group consisting of:

    phosphoenolpyruvate protein phosphotransferase, phosphomannomutase, trigger factor, elongation factor G, tetracycline resistance protein (tetO), DNA directed RNA polymerase alpha-chain, NADH oxidase, glutamyl-tRNA amidotransferase subunit A, N utilization substance protein A homolog, XAA-HIS dipeptidase, cell division protein ftsz, zinc metalloproteinase in SCAA 5' region (ORF 6), L-lactate dehydrogenase, glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH), fructose-biphosphate aldolase, UDP-glucose 4-epimerase, GTP binding protein typA/BipA, GMP synthase, glutamyl-tRNA synthetase, NADP-specific glutamate dehydrogenase, Elongation factor TS, phosphoglycerate kinase (cell wall protein), pyridine nucleotide-disulfide oxido-reductase, 40S ribosomal protein S1, 6-phosphogluconate dehydrogenase, aminopeptidase C, carbomyl-phosphate synthase (large subunit), PTS system mannose-specific IIAB components, ribosomal protein S2, dihydroorotate dehydrogenase, aspartate carbamoyltransferase, elongation factor Tu, Pneumococcal surface immunogenic protein A (PsipA), phosphogycerate kinase (cell membrane protein), ABC transporter substrate-binding protein, endopeptidase O, Pneumococcal surface immunogenic proteins B (PsipB) and Pneumococcal surface immunogenic protein C (PsipC).

  27. 27. One or more S. pneumoniae cell wall and/or cell membrane proteins according to item 26, wherein said protein is S. pneumoniae glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase.(GAPDH).
  28. 28. One or more S. pneumoniae cell wall and/or cell membrane proteins for use according to item 26, wherein said protein is S. pneumoniae fructose-biphosphate aldolase.
  29. 29. One or more S. pneumoniae cell wall and/or cell membrane proteins for use according to item 26, wherein said proteins are S. pneumoniae proteins associated with an age-related immune response.
  30. 30. One or more S. pneumoniae cell wall and/or cell membrane proteins for use according to item 26, wherein said proteins are lectins.
  31. 31. One or more S. pneumoniae cell wall and/or cell membrane proteins for use according to item 26, wherein said proteins are non-lectins.
  32. 32. One or more S. pneumoniae cell wall and/or cell membrane proteins for use according to item 26, wherein said proteins are a mixture of lectins and non-lectins.



Claims

1. A vaccine composition comprising as an active ingredient an effective amount of an isolated S. pneumoniae phosphoenolpyruvate protein phosphotransferase (PPP, Accession No. NP_345645), optionally together with one or more pharmaceutically acceptable adjuvant(s).
 
2. The vaccine composition according to claim 1, formulated for administration to a human subject under four years of age.
 
3. The vaccine composition according to claim 1, formulated for administration to a human subject under two years of age.
 
4. The vaccine composition according to claim 1, formulated for administration to an adult human subject.
 
5. The vaccine composition according to any one of claims 1 to 4 for use in protecting a mammalian subject against infection with S. pneumoniae.
 
6. The vaccine composition according to claim 5, wherein the phosphoenolpyruvate protein phosphotransferase protein is effective in all age groups of said subject, including those age groups that do not produce anti-S. pneumoniae antibodies following inoculation with polysaccharide-based vaccines.
 
7. The vaccine composition according to claim 6, wherein the subject is a human under four years of age.
 
8. The vaccine composition according to claim 6, wherein the subject is a human under two years of age.
 
9. The vaccine composition according to claim 6, wherein the subject is an adult human.
 
10. The vaccine composition according to any one of claims 5 to 9, wherein the composition further includes one or more pharmaceutically acceptable adjuvant(s).
 
11. The vaccine composition according to any of claims 5 to 10, wherein the vaccine is effective in preventing S. pneumoniae infection of a mucosal tissue.
 
12. The vaccine composition according to any of claims 5 to 10, wherein the vaccine is effective in preventing systemic infection with S. pneumoniae.
 
13. An isolated S. pneumoniae phosphoenolpyruvate protein phosphotransferase (PPP, Accession No. NP_345645) for use in the prevention of diseases and carrier states caused by said S. pneumoniae.
 
14. The vaccine composition according to any of claims 5 to 13 administered by a route selected from the group consisting of: nasal, oral, intramuscular, intravenous, intradermal, and subcutaneous.
 
15. The vaccine composition according to any of claims 1 to 14 further comprising at least one S. pneumoniae cell wall and/or cell membrane protein associated with an age-dependent immune response, selected from the group consisting of:

phosphoglucomutase/phosphomannomutase family protein (Accession No. NP_346006); trigger factor (Accession No. NP_344923); elongation factor G/tetracycline resistance protein (tetO), (Accession No. NP_344811); NADH oxidase (Accession No. NP_345923); Aspartyl/glutamyl-tRNA amidotransferase subunit C (Accession No. NP_344960); cell division protein FtsZ (Accession No. NP_346105); L-lactate dehydrogenase (Accession No. NP_345686); glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH), (Accession No. NP_346439); fructose-bisphosphate aldolase (Accession No. NP_345117); UDP-glucose 4-epimerase (Accession No. NP_346261); elongation factor Tu family protein (Accession No. NP_358192); Bifunctional GMP synthase/glutamine amidotransferase protein. (Accession No. NP_345899); glutamyl-tRNA synthetase (Accession No. NP_346492); glutamate dehydrogenase (Accession No. NP_345769); Elongation factor TS (Accession No. NP_346622); phosphoglycerate kinase (TIGR4) (Accession No. AAK74657); 30S ribosomal protein S1 (Accession No. NP_345350); 6-phosphogluconate dehydrogenase (Accession No. NP_357929); aminopeptidase C (Accession No. NP_344819); carbomoyl-phosphate synthase (large subunit) (Accession No. NP_345739); PTS system, mannose-specific IIAB components (Accession No. NP_344822); 30S ribosomal protein S2 (Accession No. NP_346623); dihydroorotate dehydrogenase 1 B (Accession No. NP_358460); aspartate carbamoyltransferase catalytic subunit (Accession No. NP_345741); elongation factor Tu (Accession No. NP_345941); Pneumococcal surface immunogenic protein A (PsipA) (Accession No. NP_344634); phosphoglycerate kinase (R6) (Accession No. NP_358035); ABC transporter substrate-binding protein (Accession No. NP_344690); endopeptidase O (Accession No. NP_346087); Pneumococcal surface immunogenic protein B (PsipB, Accession No. NP_358083); Pneumococcal surface immunogenic protein C (PsipC, Accession No. NP_345081), optionally together with one or more pharmaceutically acceptable adjuvants.


 




Drawing









REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

Patent documents cited in the description




Non-patent literature cited in the description