This test measures IgG antibody levels to Streptococcus Pneumoniae to determine how well a person has responded to vaccination.
What is Streptococcus Pneumoniae (pneumococcal)?
Streptococcus Pneumoniae (pneumococcal) is a bacteria that is responsible for the majority of cases of pneumonia as well as other conditions including bronchitis, septicemia, and meningitis. Pneumonia is most dangerous for young children, people over the age of 65, or those with other conditions that are already weakening their immune system.
What are the types of pneumococcal vaccines?
Several types of pneumococcal vaccines are available. The 2 most common vaccines are Prevnar13 (PCV13) and Pneumovax23 (PPSV23).
PCV13 provides protection from 13 pneumococcus serotypes and PPSV23 provides protection from 23 serotypes.
Depending on a person's age and other risk factors, they may be recommended to take one or both vaccines. After being vaccinated, a blood test can help to verify that a person has developed sufficient levels of IgG antibodies to protect them from infection.
When is this antibody test ordered?
Antibody testing is typically ordered after someone has completed taking the pneumococcus vaccine to verify that they have developed sufficient antibody levels for protection.
What is considered a normal response?
A response to 50-70 percent or more of the serotypes in the vaccine challenge is considered a normal humoral response.
Antibody concentration greater than 1.3 µg/mL is generally considered long-term protection.
Song CH, Estevez D, Chernikova D, Hernandez F, Sakai-Bizmark R, Stiehm R. Low Baseline Pneumococcal Antibody Titers Predict Specific Antibody Deficiency, Increased Upper Respiratory Infections, and Allergy Sensitization. Allergy Rhinol (Providence). 2020 Jan 22;11:2152656719900338. doi: 10.1177/2152656719900338. PMID: 32030313; PMCID: PMC6977093.
Sorensen RU, Edgar D. Specific Antibody Deficiencies in Clinical Practice. J Allergy Clin Immunol Pract. 2019 Mar;7(3):801-808. doi: 10.1016/j.jaip.2019.01.024. Epub 2019 Jan 23. PMID: 30682575.
Normally people should generate a response to more than half of the pneumococcal serotypes in the vaccine.
Low baseline pneumococcal antibody titers predict specific antibody deficiency, increased upper respiratory infections, and allergy sensitization
People with low pneumococcal antibody levels should receive a booster vaccination with pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (pneumovax 23) with responses evaluated 4-6 weeks following immunization.
Note: Pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine should not be given to patients younger than age 2 years - polysaccharide antigen responses in this age group are unreliable.
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