Protection against endocarditis due to Staphylococcus epidermidis by immunization with capsular polysaccharide/adhesin.
BACKGROUND Staphylococcus epidermidis is the principal pathogen in prosthetic valve endocarditis. The capsular polysaccharide adhesin (PS/A) has been shown to mediate attachment of bacteria to medical devices. In this study, we investigated the efficacy of active and passive immunization against PS/A in preventing S. epidermidis endocarditis in a rabbit model.
METHODS AND RESULTS Aortic valve vegetations were produced by inserting a Teflon catheter into the left ventricle through the right carotid artery. Bacteremia and endocarditis were then established by implanting in the left jugular vein a catheter that was attached to an osmotic pump and contaminated with S. epidermidis strain RP62A. During a 3-week study period, of 64 blood cultures taken every second or third day from six nonimmune rabbits, 54 (84%) yielded strain RP62A. In rabbits actively immunized with PS/A, eight of 60 blood cultures (13%) were positive (odds ratio 5.0, 95% CI, 2.0-12.3, p = 0.005). At death, all six nonimmune rabbits had infected vegetations that yielded 10(6)-10(11) colony-forming units (cfu)/g of vegetation, whereas only one PS/A-immunized rabbit had an infected vegetation. Immunization protocols designed to elicit antibody to teichoic acid but not to PS/A afforded no protection against bacteremia or endocarditis. Infusion of monoclonal antibody to PS/A through a catheter in the right jugular vein provided a level of protection against both bacteremia and endocarditis comparable to that produced by active immunization. In vitro, antibody against PS/A was opsonic for S. epidermidis.
CONCLUSIONS Immunoprophylaxis targeted at staphylococcal PS/A is a promising new approach to the prevention of prosthetic valve endocarditis.
- Copyright © 1991 by American Heart Association