Gestur (G.) Vidarsson PhD


Molecular biology and Immunology


Immunity to encapsulated bacteria
Supervisors: Prof Jan GJ van de Winkel PhD, Ingileif Jónsdóttir PhD
June 2000

Research interests

Immunoglobulin biology: from vaccine responses to phagocytosis. Immunoglobulins play a central role in immunity to infectious agents, and the pathogenesis in both autoimmunity and immunity to allo-antigens in transfusion medicine. These versatile molecules can also be applied as therapeutic agents in all these pathophysiological reactions. Current focus is on the role of the neonatal IgG Fc Receptor on endothelial-, epithelial-, transfectants, and immune cells, and to study the working mechanisms of immunoglobulins to Rhesus D in anti-D immunoprophylaxis, in particular with regard to Fc receptors on responses to RhD in alloimmunization.


  • Various phagocytosis and respiratory burst assays
  • Bactericidal and bacterial killing assays
  • Various techniques regarding vaccination protocols/formulation and analyses of immune responses
  • Diverse aspects of transgenesis
  • Antibody engineering
  • Recombinant antibody production and molecular modelling


2006-Present Senior researcher at Dept of Experimental Immunohematology, Sanquin Research and Landsteiner Laboratory, Amsterdam
2005-2006 Post-doctoral fellow at Dept of Experimental Immunohematology, Sanquin Research and Landsteiner Laboratory, Amsterdam
2000-2005 Post-doctoral fellow at the 'Eijkman Graduate School for Immunology and Infections Diseases' (University Medical Center Utrecht, UMCU and the Vaccine Research Laboratory at the Netherlands Vaccine Institute, Bilthoven, the Netherlands)
1996-2000 PhD student at Dept of Immunology, University Medical Centre Utrecht
1994-1996 Postgraduate work in Dept of Immunology, National University Hospital, Reykjavik, Iceland
1991-1994 Graduate work Masters Degree (M.Sc.) in Immunology, University of Iceland, the Faculty of Medicine, National University Hospital, Dept of Immunology: Immunity to pneumococci and the effect of vaccinations.
1988-1991 BSc degree in Molecular Biology, University of Iceland, the Faculty of Science

Other publications

Bakema JE, de Haij S, den Hartog-Jager CF, Bakker J, Vidarsson G, van Egmond M, van de Winkel JGJ and Leusen JH. Signaling through Mutants of the IgA Receptor CD89 and Consequences for Fc Receptor γ-Chain Interaction. The Journal of Immunology 2006; 176(6):3603-10.

Toropainen, M, Saarinen L, Vidarsson G, and Kayhty H. Protection by Meningococcal Outer Membrane Protein PorA-Specific Antibodies and a Serogroup B Capsular Polysaccharide-Specific Antibody in Complement-Sufficient and C6-Deficient Infant Rats. Infection and Immunity 2006; 74:2803-8.

Oomen C, Hoogerhout H, Kuipers B, Vidarsson G, van Alphen L, Gros P. Crystal structure of an anti-meningococcal subtype P1.4 PorA antibody provides basis for peptide-vaccine design. Journal of Molecular Biology 2005; 351(5):1070-80.

Vidarsson G, Overbeeke N, Stemerding AM, van den Dobbelsteen G, van Ulsen P, van der Ley P, Kilian M and van de Winkel JGJ. Working mechanism of IgA1-protease - Cleavage of IgA1 antibody to PorA of Neisseria meningitidis requires de novo synthesis of IgA1-protease. Infection and Immunity 2005; 73(10):6721-6.

de Jonge MI, Vidarsson G, van Dijken HH, Hoogerhout P, van Alphen L, Dankert J, van der Ley P. Functional activity of antibodies against the recombinant OpaJ protein from Neisseria meningitidis. Infection and Immunity 2003; 71(5):2331-40.

Saeland E, Leusen JH, Vidarsson G, Kuis W, Sanders EA, Jonsdottir I, Van De Winkel JG. Role of Leukocyte Immunoglobuin G Receptors in Vaccine-Induced Immunity to Streptococcus pneumoniae. Journal of Infectious Diseases 2003; 187(11):1686-93.

Saeland E, Vidarsson G, Leusen JH, Van Garderen E, Nahm MH, Vile-Weekhout H, Walraven V, Stemerding AM, Verbeek JS, Rijkers GT, Kuis W, Sanders EA, Van De Winkel JG. Central role of complement in passive protection by human IgG1 and IgG2 anti-pneumococcal antibodies in mice. The Journal of Immunology 2003; 170(12):6158-64.

Dechant M, Vidarsson G, Stockmeyer B, Repp R, Glennie MJ, Gramatzki M, van de Winkel JG, Valerius T. Chimeric IgA antibodies against HLA class II effectively trigger lymphoma cell killing. Blood 2002; 100(13):4574-80.

Van Dijk MA and Vidarsson G. Monoclonal antibody-based Pharmaceuticals. 2 ed. In Pharmaceutical Biotechnology: An Introduction for Pharmacists and Pharmaceutical Scientists, 2002. Chapter 13: 283-97. D.J.A. Crommelin and R.D. Sindelar, editors. Taylor & Francis, London. 283.

Jonsson S, Vidarsson G, Valdimarsson H, Schiffman G, Schneerson R and Jonsdottir I. Vacination of patients with Chronic obstructive pulmobnary disease with a pneumocccus type 6B Tetanus Toxoid Conjugate Vaccine. European Respiratory Journal 2002; 20(4):813-8.

Vidarsson G, van de Winkel JGJ, van Dijk MA. Multiplex screening for functionally-rearranged Immunoglobulin variable regions reveals expression of hybridoma-specific aberrant V-genes. Journal of Immunological Methods 2001; 249(1-2):245-52.

van Egmond M, Damen CA, van Spriel AB, Vidarsson G, van Garderen and van de Winkel JGJ. IgA and the IgA Fc receptor. [Review]. Trends in Immunology (formerly Immunology Today) 2001; 22:205-11.

Vidarsson G, van der Pol W-L, van den Elsen JMH, Vilé H, Jansen M, Duijs J, Morton HC, Boel E, Daha MR, Corthésy B and van de Winkel JGJ. Activity of human IgG and IgA subclasses in immune defense against Neisseria meningitidis serogroup B. Journal of Immunology 2001; 166(10):0-6256.

van der Pol, W-L, Huizinga TWJ, Vidarsson G, van der Linden MW, Jansen MD, Keijsers V, Leppers van de Straat FGJ, Westerdaal NAC, van de Winkel JGJ and Westendorp RGJ. Relevance of Fc Receptor and Interleukin-10 Polymorphisms for Meningococcal Disease. Journal of Infectious Diseases 2001; 184(12):1548-55.

Saeland E, Vidarsson G, Jonsdottir I. Pneumococcal pneumonia and bacteremia model in mice for analysis of protective human antibodies. Microbial Pathogenesis 2000; 29(2):81-91.

van der Pol W-L, Vidarsson G, Vilé HA, van de Winkel JGJ and Rodriguez ME. Pneumococcal capsular polysaccharide-specific IgA triggers efficient neutrophil effector functions via FcRI (CD89). Journal of Infectious Diseases 2000; 182(4):1139-45.

Vidarsson G, van de Winkel JGJ. Fc receptor and complement receptor-mediated phagocytosis in host defence [Review]. Current Opinion in Infectious Diseases 1988; 11(3):271-8.

Vidarsson G, Sigurdardottir ST, Gudnason T, Kjartansson S, Kristinsson KG, Ingolfsdottir G, Jonsson S, Valdimarsson H, Schiffman G, Schneerson R and Jonsdottir I. Isotypes and Opsonophagocytosis of Pneumococcus Type 6B Antibodies Elicited in Infants and Adults by an Experimental Pneumococcus Type 6B-Tetanus Toxoid Vaccine. Infection and Immunity 1998; 66(6):2866-70.

Sigurdardottir ST, Vidarsson G, Gudnason T, Kjartansson S, Kristinsson KG, Jonsson S, Valdimarsson H, Schiffman G, Schneerson R and Jonsdottir I. Immune responses of infants vaccinated with serotype 6B pneumococcal polysaccharide conjugated with tetanus toxoid. Pediatric Infectious Diseases Journal 1997; 16(7):667-74.

Sigurdardottir ST, Vidarsson G, Gudnason T, Kjartansson S, Kristinsson KG, Jonsson S, Valdimarsson H, Schneerson R and Jonsdottir I. Antibody responses of infants immunized with Pn6B-TT, consisting of pneumococcal polysaccharide of serotype 6B conjugated to tetanus toxoid. Progress in Immune Deficiency V 1994;199-200.

Vidarsson G, Jónsdóttir I, Jónsson S and Valdimarsson H. Opsonization and Antibodies to Capsular and Cell Wall polysaccharides of Streptococcus pneumoniae. The Journal of Infectious diseases 1994; 170(3):592-9.