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Low Baseline Pneumococcal Antibody Titers Predict Specific Antibody Deficiency, Increased Upper Respiratory Infections, and Allergy Sensitization.



Inadequate titers of pneumococcal antibody (PA) are commonly present among patients with recurrent respiratory infections.


We sought to determine the effect of the degree of inadequacy in baseline PA titers on the subsequent polysaccharide vaccine response, the incidence of sinusitis, and allergic conditions.


A total of 313 patients aged 6 to 70 years with symptoms of recurrent respiratory infections were classified by baseline-pPA (percentage of protective [≥1.3 µg/mL] PA serotypes/total tested serotypes) and postvaccination pPA (post-pPA): Group A (adequate baseline-pPA), Group B (inadequate baseline-pPA, adequate post-pPA, responders), and Group C (inadequate baseline-pPA, inadequate postpPA, nonresponders, specific antibody deficiency [SAD]). Immunity against Streptococcus pneumoniae was defined as adequate when the pPA was ≥70%. Each group and combined groups, Group AB (inadequate baseline-pPA), and Group BC (adequate post-pPA) were analyzed for demographics, history of sinusitis, recurrent sinusitis in the following year, allergic conditions, and association with inadequate individual serotype titers.


Over 80% of patients with respiratory symptoms had inadequate baseline-pPA. Baseline-pPA and SAD prevalence are inversely related (odds ratio = 2.02, 95% CI: 1.15-3.57, P = .01). Inadequate serotype 3 antibody titer is highly associated with SAD (odds ratio = 2.02, 96% CI: 1.61-5.45, P < .01). The groups with inadequate pPA (Group B and C, or BC) had significantly higher percentage of patients with chronic rhinosinusitis (P < .001), allergic sensitization, and allergic rhinitis (P < .05). Group A contained higher percentage of patients with recurrent upper airway infections (P < .001).


Low baseline-pPA and low antibody titers to serotype 3 are highly associated with SAD, increased incidence of respiratory infections including CRS and allergic conditions.

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