Pandya GA, McEllistrem MC, Venepally P, Holmes MH, Jarrahi B, Sanka R, Liu J, Karamycheva SA, Bai Y, Fleischmann RD, Peterson SN
Monitoring the long-term molecular epidemiology of the pneumococcus and detection of potential 'vaccine escape' strains.
PloS one. 2011-01-10; 6.1: e15950.
While the pneumococcal protein conjugate vaccines reduce the incidence in invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD), serotype replacement remains a major concern. Thus, serotype-independent protection with vaccines targeting virulence genes, such as PspA, have been pursued. PspA is comprised of diverse clades that arose through recombination. Therefore, multi-locus sequence typing (MLST)-defined clones could conceivably include strains from multiple PspA clades. As a result, a method is needed which can both monitor the long-term epidemiology of the pneumococcus among a large number of isolates, and analyze vaccine-candidate genes, such as pspA, for mutations and recombination events that could result in 'vaccine escape' strains.