Author Affiliation: Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY.
In this issue of JAMA, Kotloff and colleagues1 report
on the safety and immunogenicity of a recombinant multivalent M protein group
A streptococcal (GAS) vaccine evaluated in 28 healthy adult volunteers. This
preliminary report is a positive step in a long journey ahead to develop a
Numerous attempts to immunize humans against GAS infections date back
to the 1930s, when dead GAS intravenously administered to children who had
rheumatic fever reportedly decreased recurrence rates.2,3 There
was no evidence that these immunizations caused or reactivated rheumatic fever.
In the 1940s, heat-killed and ultraviolet-killed GAS was administered subcutaneously,
repetitively, and in high inocula to hundreds of military recruits with evidence
of toxicity but not efficacy.4
Pichichero ME. Group A Streptococcal Vaccines. JAMA. 2004;292(6):738-739. doi:10.1001/jama.292.6.738