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1.  Serotype-Specific Changes in Invasive Pneumococcal Disease after Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine Introduction: A Pooled Analysis of Multiple Surveillance Sites 
PLoS Medicine  2013;10(9):e1001517.
In a pooled analysis of data collected from invasive pneumococcal disease surveillance databases, Daniel Feikin and colleagues examine serotype replacement after the introduction of 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7) into national immunization programs.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Vaccine-serotype (VT) invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) rates declined substantially following introduction of 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7) into national immunization programs. Increases in non-vaccine-serotype (NVT) IPD rates occurred in some sites, presumably representing serotype replacement. We used a standardized approach to describe serotype-specific IPD changes among multiple sites after PCV7 introduction.
Methods and Findings
Of 32 IPD surveillance datasets received, we identified 21 eligible databases with rate data ≥2 years before and ≥1 year after PCV7 introduction. Expected annual rates of IPD absent PCV7 introduction were estimated by extrapolation using either Poisson regression modeling of pre-PCV7 rates or averaging pre-PCV7 rates. To estimate whether changes in rates had occurred following PCV7 introduction, we calculated site specific rate ratios by dividing observed by expected IPD rates for each post-PCV7 year. We calculated summary rate ratios (RRs) using random effects meta-analysis. For children <5 years old, overall IPD decreased by year 1 post-PCV7 (RR 0·55, 95% CI 0·46–0·65) and remained relatively stable through year 7 (RR 0·49, 95% CI 0·35–0·68). Point estimates for VT IPD decreased annually through year 7 (RR 0·03, 95% CI 0·01–0·10), while NVT IPD increased (year 7 RR 2·81, 95% CI 2·12–3·71). Among adults, decreases in overall IPD also occurred but were smaller and more variable by site than among children. At year 7 after introduction, significant reductions were observed (18–49 year-olds [RR 0·52, 95% CI 0·29–0·91], 50–64 year-olds [RR 0·84, 95% CI 0·77–0·93], and ≥65 year-olds [RR 0·74, 95% CI 0·58–0·95]).
Consistent and significant decreases in both overall and VT IPD in children occurred quickly and were sustained for 7 years after PCV7 introduction, supporting use of PCVs. Increases in NVT IPD occurred in most sites, with variable magnitude. These findings may not represent the experience in low-income countries or the effects after introduction of higher valency PCVs. High-quality, population-based surveillance of serotype-specific IPD rates is needed to monitor vaccine impact as more countries, including low-income countries, introduce PCVs and as higher valency PCVs are used.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors’ Summary
Pneumococcal disease–a major cause of illness and death in children and adults worldwide–is caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae, a bacterium that often colonizes the nose and throat harmlessly. Unfortunately, S. pneumoniae occasionally spreads into the lungs, bloodstream, or covering of the brain, where it causes pneumonia, septicemia, and meningitis, respectively. These invasive pneumococcal diseases (IPDs) can usually be successfully treated with antibiotics but can be fatal. Consequently, it is better to avoid infection through vaccination. Vaccination primes the immune system to recognize and attack disease-causing organisms (pathogens) rapidly and effectively by exposing it to weakened or dead pathogens or to pathogen molecules that it recognizes as foreign (antigens). Because there are more than 90 S. pneumoniae variants or “serotypes,” each characterized by a different antigenic polysaccharide (complex sugar) coat, vaccines that protect against S. pneumoniae have to include multiple serotypes. Thus, the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine PCV7, which was introduced into the US infant immunization regimen in 2000, contains polysaccharides from the seven S. pneumoniae serotypes mainly responsible for IPD in the US at that time.
Why Was This Study Done?
Vaccination with PCV7 was subsequently introduced in several other high- and middle-income countries, and IPD caused by the serotypes included in the vaccine declined substantially in children and in adults (because of reduced bacterial transmission and herd protection) in the US and virtually all these countries. However, increases in IPD caused by non-vaccine serotypes occurred in some settings, presumably because of “serotype replacement.” PCV7 prevents both IPD caused by the serotypes it contains and carriage of these serotypes. Consequently, after vaccination, previously less common, non-vaccine serotypes can colonize the nose and throat, some of which can cause IPD. In July 2010, a World Health Organization expert consultation on serotype replacement called for a comprehensive analysis of the magnitude and variability of pneumococcal serotype replacement following PCV7 use to help guide the introduction of PCVs in low-income countries, where most pneumococcal deaths occur. In this pooled analysis of data from multiple surveillance sites, the researchers investigate serotype-specific changes in IPD after PCV7 introduction using a standardized approach.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers identified 21 databases that had data about the rate of IPD for at least 2 years before and 1 year after PCV7 introduction. They estimated whether changes in IPD rates had occurred after PCV7 introduction by calculating site-specific rate ratios–the observed IPD rate for each post-PCV7 year divided by the expected IPD rate in the absence of PCV7 extrapolated from the pre-PCV7 rate. Finally, they used a statistical approach (random effects meta-analysis) to estimate summary (pooled) rate ratios. For children under 5 years old, the overall number of observed cases of IPD in the first year after the introduction of PCV7 was about half the expected number; this reduction in IPD continued through year 7 after PCV7 introduction. Notably, the rate of IPD caused by the S. pneumonia serotypes in PCV7 decreased every year, but the rate of IPD caused by non-vaccine serotypes increased annually. By year 7, the number of cases of IPD caused by non-vaccine serotypes was 3-fold higher than expected, but was still smaller than the decrease in vaccine serotypes, thereby leading to the decrease in overall IPD. Finally, smaller decreases in overall IPD also occurred among adults but occurred later than in children 2 years or more after PCV7 introduction.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings show that consistent, rapid, and sustained decreases in overall IPD and in IPD caused by serotypes included in PCV7 occurred in children and thus support the use of PCVs. The small increases in IPD caused by non-vaccine serotypes that these findings reveal are likely to be the result of serotype replacement, but changes in antibiotic use and other factors may also be involved. These findings have several important limitations, however. For example, PCV7 is no longer made and extrapolation of these results to newer PCV10 and PCV13 formulations should be done cautiously. On the other hand, many of the serotypes causing serotype replacement after PCV7 are included in these higher valency vaccines. Moreover, because the data analyzed in this study mainly came from high-income countries, these findings may not be generalizable to low-income countries. Nevertheless, based on their analysis, the researchers make recommendations for the collection and analysis of IPD surveillance data that should allow valid interpretations of the effect of PCVs on IPD to be made, an important requisite for making sound policy decisions about vaccination against pneumococcal disease.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides information for patients and health professionals on all aspects of pneumococcal disease and pneumococcal vaccination, including personal stories
Public Health England provides information on pneumococcal disease and on pneumococcal vaccines
The World Health Organization also provides information on pneumococcal vaccines
The not-for-profit Immunization Action Coalition has information on pneumococcal disease, including personal stories
MedlinePlus has links to further information about pneumococcal infections (in English and Spanish)
The International Vaccine Access Center at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health has more information on introduction of pneumococcal conjugate vaccines in low-income countries
PMCID: PMC3782411  PMID: 24086113
2.  Effects of Community-Wide Vaccination with PCV-7 on Pneumococcal Nasopharyngeal Carriage in The Gambia: A Cluster-Randomized Trial 
PLoS Medicine  2011;8(10):e1001107.
In a cluster-randomized trial conducted in Gambian villages, Anna Roca and colleagues find that vaccination of children with pneumococcal conjugate vaccines reduced vaccine-type pneumococcal carriage even among nonvaccinated older children and adults.
Introduction of pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (PCVs) of limited valency is justified in Africa by the high burden of pneumococcal disease. Long-term beneficial effects of PCVs may be countered by serotype replacement. We aimed to determine the impact of PCV-7 vaccination on pneumococcal carriage in rural Gambia.
Methods and Findings
A cluster-randomized (by village) trial of the impact of PCV-7 on pneumococcal nasopharyngeal carriage was conducted in 21 Gambian villages between December 2003 to June 2008 (5,441 inhabitants in 2006). Analysis was complemented with data obtained before vaccination. Because efficacy of PCV-9 in young Gambian children had been shown, it was considered unethical not to give PCV-7 to young children in all of the study villages. PCV-7 was given to children below 30 mo of age and to those born during the trial in all study villages. Villages were randomized (older children and adults) to receive one dose of PCV-7 (11 vaccinated villages) or meningococcal serogroup C conjugate vaccine (10 control villages). Cross-sectional surveys (CSSs) to collect nasopharyngeal swabs were conducted before vaccination (2,094 samples in the baseline CSS), and 4–6, 12, and 22 mo after vaccination (1,168, 1,210, and 446 samples in CSS-1, -2, and -3, respectively).
A time trend analysis showed a marked fall in the prevalence of vaccine-type pneumococcal carriage in all age groups following vaccination (from 23.7% and 26.8% in the baseline CSS to 7.1% and 8.5% in CSS-1, in vaccinated and control villages, respectively). The prevalence of vaccine-type pneumococcal carriage was lower in vaccinated than in control villages among older children (5 y to <15 y of age) and adults (≥15 y of age) at CSS-2 (odds ratio [OR] = 0.15 [95% CI 0.04–0.57] and OR = 0.32 [95% CI 0.10–0.98], respectively) and at CSS-3 (OR = 0.37 [95% CI 0.15–0.90] for older children, and 0% versus 7.6% for adults in vaccinated and control villages, respectively). Differences in the prevalence of non-vaccine-type pneumococcal carriage between vaccinated and control villages were small.
Vaccination of Gambian children reduced vaccine-type pneumococcal carriage across all age groups, indicating a “herd effect” in non-vaccinated older children and adults. No significant serotype replacement was detected.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
The prevention of pneumococcal disease, especially in children in developing countries, is a major international public health priority. Despite all the international attention on the UN's Millennium Development Goal 4—to reduce deaths in children under five years by two-thirds between 1990 and 2015—pneumonia, sepsis, and meningitis together compose more than 25% of the 10 million deaths occurring in children less than five years of age. Streptococcus pneumoniae is a leading bacterial cause of these diseases, and the World Health Organization estimates that approximately 800,000 children die each year of invasive pneumococcal disease.
Pneumococcal conjugate vaccines are currently available and protect against the serotypes that most commonly cause invasive pneumococcal disease in young children in North America and Europe. Such vaccines have been highly successful in reducing the incidence of invasive pneumococcal disease in both vaccinated children and in the non-vaccinated older population by reducing nasopharyngeal carriage (presence of pneumococcal bacteria in the back of the nose) in vaccinated infants, resulting in decreased transmission to contacts—the so-called herd effect. However, few countries with the highest burden of invasive pneumococcal disease, especially those in sub-Saharan Africa, have introduced the vaccine into their national immunization programs.
Why Was This Study Done?
The features of pneumococcal nasopharyngeal carriage and invasive pneumococcal disease in sub-Saharan Africa are different than in other regions. Therefore, careful evaluation of the immune effects of vaccination requires long-term, longitudinal studies. As an alternative to such long-term observational studies, and to anticipate the potential long-term effects of the introduction of pneumococcal conjugate vaccination in sub-Saharan Africa, the researchers conducted a cluster-randomized (by village) trial in The Gambia in which the whole populations of some villages were immunized with the vaccine PCV-7, and other villages received a control.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
With full consent from communities, the researchers randomized 21 similar villages in a rural region of western Gambia to receive pneumococcal conjugate vaccine or a control—meningococcal serogroup C conjugated vaccine, which is unlikely to affect pneumococcal carriage rates. For ethical reasons, the researchers only randomized residents aged over 30 months—all young infants received PCV-7, as a similar vaccine had already been shown to be effective in young infants. Before immunization began, the researchers took nasopharyngeal swabs from a random selection of village residents to determine the baseline pneumococcal carriage rates of both the serotypes of pneumococci covered by the vaccine (vaccine types, VTs) and the serotypes of pneumococci not covered in the vaccine (non-vaccine types, NVTs). The researchers then took nasopharyngeal swabs from a random sample of 1,200 of village residents in both groups of villages in cross-sectional surveys at 4–6, 12, and 22 months after vaccination. Villagers and laboratory staff were unaware of which vaccine was which (that is, they were blinded).
Before immunization, the overall prevalence of pneumococcal carriage in both groups was high, at 71.1%, and decreased with age. After vaccination, the overall prevalence of pneumococcal carriage in all three surveys was similar between vaccinated and control villages, showing a marked fall. However, the prevalence of carriage of VT pneumococci was significantly lower in vaccinated than in control villages in all surveys for all age groups. The prevalence of carriage of NVT pneumococci was similar in vaccinated and in control villages, except for a slightly higher prevalence of NVT pneumococci among vaccinated communities in adults at 4–6 months after vaccination. The researchers also found that the overall prevalence of pneumococcal carriage fell markedly after vaccination and reached minimum levels at 12 months in both study arms and in all age groups.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings show that vaccination of young Gambian children reduced carriage of VT pneumococci in vaccinated children but also in vaccinated and non-vaccinated older children and adults, revealing a potential herd effect from vaccination of young children. Furthermore, the immunological pressure induced by vaccinating whole communities did not lead to a community-wide increase in carriage of NVT pneumococci during a two-year period after vaccination. The researchers plan to conduct more long-term follow-up studies to determine nasopharyngeal carriage in these communities.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at
The World Health Organization has information about pneumococcus
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides information about pneumococcal conjugate vaccination
PMCID: PMC3196470  PMID: 22028630
3.  Effect of Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccination on Serotype-Specific Carriage and Invasive Disease in England: A Cross-Sectional Study 
PLoS Medicine  2011;8(4):e1001017.
A cross sectional study by Stefan Flasche and coworkers document the serotype replacement of Streptococcus pneumoniae that has occurred in England since the introduction of PCV7 vaccination.
We investigated the effect of the 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7) programme in England on serotype-specific carriage and invasive disease to help understand its role in serotype replacement and predict the impact of higher valency vaccines.
Methods and Findings
Nasopharyngeal swabs were taken from children <5 y old and family members (n = 400) 2 y after introduction of PCV7 into routine immunization programs. Proportions carrying Streptococcus pneumoniae and serotype distribution among carried isolates were compared with a similar population prior to PCV7 introduction. Serotype-specific case∶carrier ratios (CCRs) were estimated using national data on invasive disease. In vaccinated children and their contacts vaccine-type (VT) carriage decreased, but was offset by an increase in non-VT carriage, with no significant overall change in carriage prevalence, odds ratio 1.06 (95% confidence interval 0.76–1.49). The lower CCRs of the replacing serotypes resulted in a net reduction in invasive disease in children. The additional serotypes covered by higher valency vaccines had low carriage but high disease prevalence. Serotype 11C emerged as predominant in carriage but caused no invasive disease whereas 8, 12F, and 22F emerged in disease but had very low carriage prevalence.
Because the additional serotypes included in PCV10/13 have high CCRs but low carriage prevalence, vaccinating against them is likely to significantly reduce invasive disease with less risk of serotype replacement. However, a few serotypes with high CCRs could mitigate the benefits of higher valency vaccines. Assessment of the effect of PCV on carriage as well as invasive disease should be part of enhanced surveillance activities for PCVs.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Pneumococcal diseases—major causes of illness and death in children and adults worldwide—are caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae, a bacterium that often colonizes the nasopharynx (the area of the throat behind the nose). Carriage of S. pneumoniae bacteria does not necessarily cause disease. However, these bacteria can cause local, noninvasive diseases such as ear infections and sinusitis and, more rarely, they can spread into the lungs, the bloodstream, or the covering of the brain, where they cause pneumonia, septicemia, and meningitis, respectively. Although these invasive pneumococcal diseases (IPDs) can be successfully treated if administered early, they can be fatal. Consequently, it is better to protect people against IPDs through vaccination than risk infection. Vaccination primes the immune system to recognize and attack disease-causing organisms (pathogens) rapidly and effectively by exposing it to weakened or dead pathogens or to pathogen molecules (antigens) that it recognizes as foreign.
Why Was This Study Done?
There are more than 90 S. pneumoniae variants or “serotypes” characterized by different polysaccharide (complex sugar) coats, which trigger the immune response against S. pneumoniae and determine each serotype's propensity to cause IPD. The pneumococcal conjugate vaccine PCV7 contains polysaccharides (linked to a protein carrier) from the seven serotypes mainly responsible for IPD in the US in 2000 when routine childhood PCV7 vaccination was introduced in that country. PCV7 prevents both IPD caused by the serotypes it contains and carriage of these serotypes, which means that, after vaccination, previously uncommon, nonvaccine serotypes can colonize the nasopharynx. If these serotypes have a high invasiveness potential, then “serotype replacement” could reduce the benefits of vaccination. In this cross-sectional study (a study that investigates the relationship between a disease and an intervention in a population at one time point), the researchers investigate the effect of the UK PCV7 vaccination program (which began in 2006) on serotype-specific carriage and IPD in England to understand the role of PCV7 in serotype replacement and to predict the likely impact of vaccines containing additional serotypes (higher valency vaccines).
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers examined nasopharyngeal swabs taken from PCV7-vaccinated children and their families for S. pneumoniae, determined the serotype of any bacteria they found, and compared the proportion of people carrying S. pneumoniae (carrier prevalence) and the distribution of serotypes in this study population and in a similar population that was studied in 2000/2001, before the PCV vaccination program began. Overall, there was no statistically significant change in carrier prevalence, but carriage of vaccine serotypes decreased in vaccinated children and their contacts whereas carriage of nonvaccine serotypes increased. The serotype-specific case-to-carrier ratios (CCRs; a measure of serotype invasiveness that was estimated using national IPD data) of the replacing serotypes were generally lower than those of the original serotypes, which resulted in a net reduction in IPD in children. Moreover, before PCV7 vaccination began, PCV7-included serotypes were responsible for similar proportions of pneumococcal carriage and disease; afterwards, the additional serotypes present in the higher valency vaccines PVC10 and PVC13 were responsible for a higher proportion of disease than carriage. Finally, three serotypes not present in the higher valency vaccines with outstandingly high CCRs (high invasiveness potential) are identified.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings document the serotype replacement of S. pneumoniae that has occurred in England since the introduction of PCV7 vaccination and highlight the importance of assessing the effects of pneumococcal vaccines on carriage as well as on IPDs. Because the additional serotypes included in PCV10 and PCV13 have high CCRs but low carriage prevalence and because most of the potential replacement serotypes have low CCRs, these findings suggest that the introduction of higher valency vaccines should further reduce the occurrence of invasive disease with limited risk of additional serotype replacement. However, the emergence of a few serotypes that have high CCRs but are not included in PCV10 and PCV13 might mitigate the benefits of higher valency vaccines. In other words, although the recent introduction of PCV13 into UK vaccination schedules is likely to have an incremental benefit on the reduction of IPD compared to PCV7, this benefit might be offset by increases in the carriage of some high CCR serotypes. These serotypes should be considered for inclusion in future vaccines.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides information for patients and health professionals on all aspects of pneumococcal disease and pneumococcal vaccination
The US National Foundation for Infectious Diseases has a fact sheet on pneumococcal diseases
The UK Health Protection Agency provides information on pneumococcal disease and on pneumococcal vaccines
The World Health Organization also provides information on pneumococcal vaccines
MedlinePlus has links to further information about pneumococcal infections (in English and Spanish)
PMCID: PMC3071372  PMID: 21483718
4.  Safety and Immunogenicity of Neonatal Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccination in Papua New Guinean Children: A Randomised Controlled Trial 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(2):e56698.
Approximately 826,000 children, mostly young infants, die annually from invasive pneumococcal disease. A 6-10-14-week schedule of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) is efficacious but neonatal PCV may provide earlier protection and better coverage. We conducted an open randomized controlled trial in Papua New Guinea to compare safety, immunogenicity and priming for memory of 7-valent PCV (PCV7) given in a 0-1-2-month (neonatal) schedule with that of the routine 1-2-3-month (infant) schedule.
We randomized 318 infants at birth to receive PCV7 in the neonatal or infant schedule or no PCV7. All infants received 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPV) at age 9 months. Serotype-specific serum IgG for PCV7 (VT) serotypes and non-VT serotypes 2, 5 and 7F were measured at birth and 2, 3, 4, 9, 10 and 18 months of age. Primary outcomes were geometric mean concentrations (GMCs) and proportions with concentration ≥0.35 µg/ml of VT serotype-specific pneumococcal IgG at age 2 months and one month post-PPV.
We enrolled 101, 105 and 106 infants, respectively, into neonatal, infant and control groups. Despite high background levels of maternally derived antibody, both PCV7 groups had higher GMCs than controls at age 2 months for serotypes 4 (p<0.001) and 9V (p<0.05) and at age 3 months for all VTs except 6B. GMCs for serotypes 4, 9V, 18C and 19F were significantly higher (p<0.001) at age 2 months in the neonatal (one month post-dose2 PCV7) than in the infant group (one month post-dose1 PCV7). PPV induced significantly higher VT antibody responses in PCV7-primed than unprimed infants, with neonatal and infant groups equivalent. High VT and non-VT antibody concentrations generally persisted to age 18 months.
PCV7 is well-tolerated and immunogenic in PNG neonates and young infants and induces immunologic memory to PPV booster at age 9 months with antibody levels maintained to age 18 months.
Trial Registration NCT00219401NCT00219401
PMCID: PMC3579820  PMID: 23451070
5.  Pediatric Invasive Pneumococcal Disease Caused by Vaccine Serotypes following the Introduction of Conjugate Vaccination in Denmark 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(1):e51460.
A seven-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7) was introduced in the Danish childhood immunization program (2+1 schedule) in October 2007, followed by PCV13 starting from April 2010. The nationwide incidence of IPD among children younger than 5 years nearly halved after the introduction of PCV7 in the program, mainly due to a decline in IPD caused by PCV7-serotypes. We report the results from a nationwide population-based cohort study of laboratory confirmed IPD cases in children younger than 5 years during October 1, 2007 to December 31, 2010 and describe the characteristics of children suspected to present with a vaccine failure. The period between April 19 and December 31, 2010 was considered a PCV7/PCV13 transitional period, where both vaccines were offered. We identified 45 episodes of IPD caused by a PCV7 serotype (23% of the total number) and 105 (55%) caused by one of the 6 additional serotypes in PCV13. Ten children had received at least one PCV7 dose before the onset of IPD caused by a PCV7 serotype. Seven children were considered to be incompletely vaccinated before IPD, but only three cases fulfilled the criteria of vaccine failure (caused by serotypes 14, 19F and 23F). One case of vaccine failure was observed in a severely immunosuppressed child following three PCV7 doses, and two cases were observed in immunocompetent children following two infant doses before they were eligible for their booster. None of the IPD cases caused by the additional PCV13 serotypes had been vaccinated by PCV13 and there were therefore no PCV13-vaccine failures in the first 8-months after PCV13 introduction in Denmark.
PMCID: PMC3554759  PMID: 23365635
6.  Pneumococcal Carriage in Young Children One Year after Introduction of the 13-Valent Conjugate Vaccine in Italy 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(10):e76309.
In mid 2010, the 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7) was replaced by the 13-valent conjugate vaccine (PCV13) for childhood immunization in Italy. Our objective in this study was to obtain a snapshot of pneumococcal carriage frequency, colonizing serotypes, and antibiotic resistance in healthy children in two Italian cities one year after PCV13 was introduced.
Nasopharyngeal swabs were obtained from 571 children aged 0-5 years from November 2011-April 2012. Pneumococcal isolates were serotyped and tested for antimicrobial susceptibility. Penicillin and/or erythromycin non-susceptible isolates were analyzed by Multi Locus Sequence Typing (MLST).
Among the children examined, 81.2% had received at least one dose of PCV7 or PCV13 and 74.9% had completed the recommended vaccination schedule for their age. Among the latter, 57.3% of children had received PCV7, 27.1% PCV13, and 15.6% a combination of the two vaccines. The overall carriage rate was 32.9%, with children aged 6-35 months the most prone to pneumococcal colonization (6-23 months OR: 3.75; 95% CI: 2.19-6.43 and 24-35 months OR: 3.15, 95%CI: 2.36-4.22). A total of 184 pneumococcal isolates were serotyped and divided into PCV7 (5.4%), PCV13 (18.0%), and non-PCV13 (82.0%) serotypes. Serotypes 6C, 24F, and 19A were the most prevalent (10.3%, 8.6%, and 8.1%, respectively). The proportion of penicillin non-susceptible (MIC >0.6 mg/L) isolates was 30.9%, while 42.3% were erythromycin resistant. Non-PCV13 serotypes accounted for 75.4% and 70.8% of the penicillin and erythromycin non-susceptible isolates, respectively.
Our results revealed low rates of PCV7 and PCV13 serotypes in Italian children, potentially due to the effects of vaccination. As the use of PCV13 continues, its potential impact on vaccine serotypes such as 19A and cross-reactive serotypes such as 6C will be assessed, with this study providing a baseline for further analysis of surveillance isolates.
PMCID: PMC3790677  PMID: 24124543
7.  Economic evaluation of pneumococcal conjugate vaccination in The Gambia 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2010;10:260.
Gambia is the second GAVI support-eligible country to introduce the 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7), but a country-specific cost-effectiveness analysis of the vaccine is not available. Our objective was to assess the potential impact of PCVs of different valences in The Gambia.
We synthesized the best available epidemiological and cost data using a state-transition model to simulate the natural histories of various pneumococcal diseases. For the base-case, we estimated incremental cost (in 2005 US dollars) per disability-adjusted life year (DALY) averted under routine vaccination using PCV9 compared to no vaccination. We extended the base-case results for PCV9 to estimate the cost-effectiveness of PCV7, PCV10, and PCV13, each compared to no vaccination. To explore parameter uncertainty, we performed both deterministic and probabilistic sensitivity analyses. We also explored the impact of vaccine efficacy waning, herd immunity, and serotype replacement, as a part of the uncertainty analyses, by assuming alternative scenarios and extrapolating empirical results from different settings.
Assuming 90% coverage, a program using a 9-valent PCV (PCV9) would prevent approximately 630 hospitalizations, 40 deaths, and 1000 DALYs, over the first 5 years of life of a birth cohort. Under base-case assumptions ($3.5 per vaccine), compared to no intervention, a PCV9 vaccination program would cost $670 per DALY averted in The Gambia. The corresponding values for PCV7, PCV10, and PCV13 were $910, $670, and $570 per DALY averted, respectively. Sensitivity analyses that explored the implications of the uncertain key parameters showed that model outcomes were most sensitive to vaccine price per dose, discount rate, case-fatality rate of primary endpoint pneumonia, and vaccine efficacy against primary endpoint pneumonia.
Based on the information available now, infant PCV vaccination would be expected to reduce pneumococcal diseases caused by S. pneumoniae in The Gambia. Assuming a cost-effectiveness threshold of three times GDP per capita, all PCVs examined would be cost-effective at the tentative Advance Market Commitment (AMC) price of $3.5 per dose. Because the cost-effectiveness of a PCV program could be affected by potential serotype replacement or herd immunity effects that may not be known until after a large scale introduction, type-specific surveillance and iterative evaluation will be critical.
PMCID: PMC2944347  PMID: 20815900
8.  Incidence of pediatric invasive pneumococcal disease in the Island of Majorca (2008-2010), an area with non-universal vaccination, and estimations of serotype & children population coverage by available conjugate vaccines 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2013;13:503.
The World Health Organization reported in 2007 that inclusion of PCV7 in national immunization programs should be seen as a priority, also encouraging countries to conduct appropriate surveillances for monitoring the impact of vaccination. These analyses should be conducted in specific geographical areas and should be aimed to evolution of invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD), by age groups, clinical presentation, and vaccine serotypes (and non-vaccine serotypes to detect possible replacement). This study aimed to monitor the evolution of IPD incidence in children <15 years requiring hospitalization in the Island of Majorca.
A prospective clinical surveillance of all culture and/or PCR-confirmed IPD in children <15 years was performed in all hospitals in the Island of Majorca (approximately 900,000 inhabitants) from January 2008 to December 2010. Incidence rate (IR) was calculated as cases/100000 inhabitants using children population data.
66 IPDs were identified: 39 (59.1%) parapneumonic pneumococcal empyema (PPE), 16 (24.2%) bacteremic pneumonia (BP), 7 (10.6%) primary bacteremia, 3 (4.5%) meningitis, and 1 (1.5%) osteomyelitis. IRs in the three-year study period were: 64.22 for children 12- < 24 months, 37.21 for those 24-59 months, 22.62 for those <12 months, and 3.98 for children >59 months. By study year, IRs were 21.25 in 2008, 19.89 in 2009 and 9.80 in 2010. The reduction found in 2010 was significant and due to significant reductions in IRs of IPDs caused by serotypes included in PCV10 and PCV13. Overall, estimated serotype coverage by conjugate vaccines was 12.1% for PCV7, 37.9% for PCV10 and 65.2% for PCV13. Of the 66 hospitalized children with IPD, 20 had received at least one dose of PCV7 (13 cases with identified serotype). None of these 13 cases was caused by PCV7 serotypes, all were caused by PCV13 serotypes and only 53.8% by PCV10 serotypes.
The results of the present study evidence the importance of expanding the number of serotypes covered by PCV, and the added value of PCV13 with respect to PCV10 and PCV7, even in an area of low prevalence of 19A as the Island of Majorca.
PMCID: PMC3826596  PMID: 24498901
Majorca; PCV7; PCV10; PCV13; Invasive pneumococcal disease; Incidence rate
9.  Safety and Immunogenicity of a 13-Valent Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine Compared to Those of a 7-Valent Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine Given as a Three-Dose Series with Routine Vaccines in Healthy Infants and Toddlers ▿ †  
A 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13) has been developed to improve protection against pneumococcal disease beyond that possible with the licensed 7-valent vaccine (PCV7). This study compared the safety and immunogenicity of PCV13 with those of PCV7 when given as part of the pediatric vaccination schedule recommended in Italy. A total of 606 subjects were randomly assigned to receive either PCV13 or PCV7 at 3, 5, and 11 months of age; all subjects concomitantly received diphtheria-tetanus-acellular pertussis-hepatitis B-inactivated polio-Haemophilus influenzae type B (DTaP-HBV-IPV/Hib) vaccine. Vaccine reactions were monitored. Antibody responses to DTaP-HBV-IPV/Hib antigens, serotype-specific anticapsular polysaccharide IgG responses, and antipneumococcal opsonophagocytic assay (OPA) activity were measured 1 month after the two-dose primary series and 1 month after the toddler dose. Overall, the safety profile of PCV13 was similar to that of PCV7. The response to DTaP-HBV-IPV/Hib antigens was substantially the same with both PCV13 and PCV7. PCV13 elicited antipneumococcal capsular IgG antibodies to all 13 vaccine serotypes, with notable increases in concentrations seen after the toddler dose. Despite a lower immunogenicity for serotypes 6B and 23F after the primary series of PCV13, responses to the seven common serotypes were comparable between the PCV13 and PCV7 groups when measured after the toddler dose. PCV13 also elicited substantial levels of OPA activity against all 13 serotypes following both the infant series and the toddler dose. In conclusion, PCV13 appeared comparable to PCV7 in safety profile and immunogenicity for common serotypes, demonstrated functional OPA responses for all 13 serotypes, and did not interfere with immune responses to concomitantly administered DTaP-HBV-IPV/Hib vaccine.
PMCID: PMC2884425  PMID: 20427630
10.  The Differential Impact of Coadministered Vaccines, Geographic Region, Vaccine Product and Other Covariates on Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine Immunogenicity 
The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal  2013;33(Suppl 2 Optimum Dosing of Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine For Infants 0 A Landscape Analysis of Evidence Supportin g Different Schedules):S130-S139.
Antipneumococcal capsular polysaccharide antibody concentrations are used as predictors of vaccine efficacy against vaccine serotype (ST) pneumococcal disease among infants. While pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (PCV) are recommended globally, factors associated with optimal PCV immune response are not well described. We aimed to systematically assess local setting factors, beyond dosing schedule, which may affect PCV antibody levels.
We conducted a literature review of PCV immunogenicity, abstracting data from published reports, unpublished sources, and conference abstracts from 1994 to 2010 (and ad hoc 2011 reports). Studies included in this analysis evaluated ≥ 2 primary doses of PCV before 6 months of age in non–high-risk populations, used 7-valent or higher PCV products (excluding Aventis-Pasteur and Merck products) and provided information on geometric mean concentration (GMC) for STs 1, 5, 6B, 14, 19F or 23F. Using random effects meta-regression, we assessed the impact of geographic region, coadministered vaccines and PCV product on postprimary GMC, adjusting for dosing schedule and ELISA laboratory method.
Of 12,980 citations reviewed, we identified 103 vaccine study arms for this analysis. Children in studies from Asia, Africa and Latin America had significantly higher GMC responses compared with those in studies from Europe and North America. Coadministration with acellular pertussis DTP compared with whole-cell DTP had no effect on PCV immunogenicity except for ST14, where GMCs were higher when coadministered with acellular pertussis DTP. Vaccine product, number of PCV doses, dosing interval, age at first dose and ELISA laboratory method also affected the GMC.
PCV immunogenicity is associated with geographic region and vaccine product; however, the associations and magnitude varied by ST. Consideration of these factors is essential when comparing PCV immunogenicity results between groups and should be included in the evidence base when selecting optimal PCV vaccine schedules in specific settings.
PMCID: PMC3944480  PMID: 24336055
pneumococcal conjugate vaccine; immunogenicity; immunization
11.  Pneumococcal Antibody Concentrations and Carriage of Pneumococci more than 3 Years after Infant Immunization with a Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(2):e31050.
A 9-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV-9), given in a 3-dose schedule, protected Gambian children against pneumococcal disease and reduced nasopharyngeal carriage of pneumococci of vaccine serotypes. We have studied the effect of a booster or delayed primary dose of 7-valent conjugate vaccine (PCV-7) on antibody and nasopharyngeal carriage of pneumococci 3–4 years after primary vaccination.
Methodology/Principal Findings
We recruited a subsample of children who had received 3 doses of either PCV-9 or placebo (controls) into this follow-up study. Pre- and post- PCV-7 pneumococcal antibody concentrations to the 9 serotypes in PCV-9 and nasopharyngeal carriage of pneumococci were determined before and at intervals up to 18 months post-PCV-7. We enrolled 282 children at a median age of 45 months (range, 38–52 months); 138 had received 3 doses of PCV-9 in infancy and 144 were controls. Before receiving PCV-7, a high proportion of children had antibody concentrations >0.35 µg/mL to most of the serotypes in PCV-9 (average of 75% in the PCV-9 and 66% in the control group respectively). The geometric mean antibody concentrations in the vaccinated group were significantly higher compared to controls for serotypes 6B, 14, and 23F. Antibody concentrations were significantly increased to serotypes in the PCV-7 vaccine both 6–8 weeks and 16–18 months after PCV-7. Antibodies to serotypes 6B, 9V and 23F were higher in the PCV-9 group than in the control group 6–8 weeks after PCV-7, but only the 6B difference was sustained at 16–18 months. There was no significant difference in nasopharyngeal carriage between the two groups.
Pneumococcal antibody concentrations in Gambian children were high 34–48 months after a 3-dose primary infant vaccination series of PCV-9 for serotypes other than serotypes 1 and 18C, and were significantly higher than in control children for 3 of the 9 serotypes. Antibody concentrations increased after PCV-7 and remained raised for at least 18 months.
PMCID: PMC3282700  PMID: 22363544
12.  Cost-effectiveness of 2 + 1 dosing of 13-valent and 10-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccines in Canada 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2012;12:101.
Thirteen-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13) and 10-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV10) are two recently approved vaccines for the active immunization against Streptococcus pneumoniae causing invasive pneumococcal disease in infants and children. PCV13 offers broader protection against Streptococcus pneumoniae; however, PCV10 offers potential protection against non-typeable Haemophilus influenza (NTHi). We examined public health and economic impacts of a PCV10 and PCV13 pediatric national immunization programs (NIPs) in Canada.
A decision-analytic model was developed to examine the costs and outcomes associated with PCV10 and PCV13 pediatric NIPs. The model followed individuals over the remainder of their lifetime. Recent disease incidence, serotype coverage, population data, percent vaccinated, costs, and utilities were obtained from the published literature. Direct and indirect effects were derived from 7-valent pneumococcal vaccine. Additional direct effect of 4% was attributed to PCV10 for moderate to severe acute otitis media to account for potential NTHi benefit. Annual number of disease cases and costs (2010 Canadian dollars) were presented.
In Canada, PCV13 was estimated to prevent more cases of disease (49,340 when considering both direct and indirect effects and 7,466 when considering direct effects only) than PCV10. This translated to population gains of 258 to 13,828 more quality-adjusted life-years when vaccinating with PCV13 versus PCV10. Annual direct medical costs (including the cost of vaccination) were estimated to be reduced by $5.7 million to $132.8 million when vaccinating with PCV13. Thus, PCV13 dominated PCV10, and sensitivity analyses showed PCV13 to always be dominant or cost-effective versus PCV10.
Considering the epidemiology of pneumococcal disease in Canada, PCV13 is shown to be a cost-saving immunization program because it provides substantial public health and economic benefits relative to PCV10.
PMCID: PMC3532329  PMID: 22530841
Vaccine; Cost-effectiveness; Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine; Pneumococcal disease
13.  Expansion of Serotype Coverage in the Universal Pediatric Vaccination Calendar: Short-Term Effects on Age- and Serotype-Dependent Incidence of Invasive Pneumococcal Clinical Presentations in Madrid, Spain 
Clinical and Vaccine Immunology : CVI  2013;20(10):1524-1530.
In Madrid, Spain, the 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13) replaced PCV7 in the pediatric universal vaccination calendar in June 2010. A prospective clinical surveillance that included all children hospitalized with culture- and/or PCR-confirmed invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) was performed in all Madrid hospitals. The incidence rates (IRs) (defined as the number of cases/100,000 inhabitants aged <15 years) in the PCV7 (May 2007 to April 2010) versus PCV13 (May 2011 to April 2012) periods were compared. There were 499 cases in the PCV7 period and 79 cases in the PCV13 period. Globally, the IR significantly decreased from 17.09 (PCV7 period) to 7.70 (PCV13 period), with significant decreases (PCV7 versus PCV13 periods) in all age groups for bacteremic pneumonia (5.51 versus 1.56), parapneumonic pneumococcal empyema (PPE) (5.72 versus 3.12), and meningitis (2.16 versus 0.97). In the PCV13 period, significant reductions (the IR in the PCV7 period versus the IR in the PCV13 period) were found in IPDs caused by PCV13 serotypes (13.49 versus 4.38), and specifically by serotypes 1 (globally [4.79 versus 2.53], for bacteremic pneumonia [2.23 versus 0.97], and for PPE [2.26 versus 1.17]), serotype 5 (globally [1.88 versus 0.00], for bacteremic pneumonia [0.89 versus 0.00], and for PPE [0.55 versus 0.00]), and serotype 19A (globally [3.77 versus 0.49], for bacteremic pneumonia [0.72 versus 0.00], for PPE [0.89 versus 0.00], and for meningitis [0.62 versus 0.00]). IPDs caused by non-PCV13 serotypes did not increase (IR, 3.60 in the PCV7 period versus 3.31 in the PCV13 period), regardless of age or presentation. No IPDs caused by the PCV13 serotypes were found in children who received 3 doses of PCV13. The number of hospitalization days and sanitary costs were significantly lower in the PCV13 period. The switch from PCV7 to PCV13 in the universal pediatric vaccination calendar provided sanitary and economical benefits without a replacement by non-PCV13 serotypes.
PMCID: PMC3807202  PMID: 23925887
14.  Effect of Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccination in Uruguay, a Middle-Income Country 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(11):e112337.
In 2008, a 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7) was introduced into the routine childhood immunization program in Uruguay, with a 2+1 schedule. In 2010, PCV13 replaced PCV7, and the same 2+1 schedule was used. The effect of these pneumococcal vaccines on the incidence of invasive pneumococcal infections (IPD) and on serotype distribution was analyzed retrospectively, based on passive national laboratory surveillance.
Data from 1,887 IPD isolates from 5 years before and 5 years after PCV7 introduction (7 before and 3 after PCV13 introduction) was examined to assess the incidence rate per 100,000 age-specific population of all IPD, PCV7-serotypes, and PCV13-serotypes associated IPD among children <2 years and 2 to 4 years old, and patients ≥5 years old. Trends of frequency for each serotype were also analyzed.
Comparison of pre-vaccination (2003–2007) and post-vaccination (2008–2012) periods showed a significant decrease in IPD incidence among children <2 years old (IR 68.7 to IR 29.6, p<0.001) and children 2 to 4 years (p<0.04). IPD caused by serotypes in PCV7 was reduced by 95.6% and IPD caused by 6 serotypes added in PCV13 was reduced by 83.9% in children <5 years old. Indirect effects of both conjugate vaccines were observed among patients ≥5 years old one year after the introduction of each vaccine, in 2010 for PCV7 and in 2012 for PCV13. Nevertheless, for reasons that still need to be explained, perhaps due to ascertainment bias, total IPD in this group increased after 2007. In 2012, the relative frequency of vaccine serotypes among vaccinated and unvaccinated population declined, except for serotype 3. Non vaccine serotypes with increasing frequency were identified, in rank order: 12F, 8, 24F, 22F, 24A, 15C, 9N, 10A and 33.
Consecutive immunization with PCV7 and PCV13 has significantly reduced IPD in children <5 years of age in Uruguay.
PMCID: PMC4223029  PMID: 25375647
15.  Effect of Seven-Valent Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine on Staphylococcus aureus Colonisation in a Randomised Controlled Trial 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(6):e20229.
Heptavalent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7) shifts nasopharyngeal colonisation with vaccine serotype pneumococci towards nonvaccine serotypes. Because of the reported negative association of vaccine serotype pneumococci and Staphylococcus aureus in the nasopharynx, we explored the effect of PCV7 on nasopharyngeal colonisation with S. aureus in children and parents.
Methodology/Principal Findings
This study was part of a randomised controlled trial on the effect of PCV7 on pneumococcal carriage, enrolling healthy newborns who were randomly assigned (1∶1∶1) to receive PCV7 (1) at 2 and 4 months of age (2) at 2, 4 and 11 months or (3) no PCV7 (controls). Nasopharyngeal colonisation of S. aureus was a planned secondary outcome. Nasopharyngeal swabs were obtained from all children over a 2-year period with 6-months interval and from one parent at the child's age of 12 and 24 months and cultured for Streptococcus pneumoniae and S. aureus. Between July 2005 and February 2006, 1005 children were enrolled and received either 2-doses of PCV7 (n = 336), 2+1-doses (336) or no dose (n = 333) before PCV7 implementation in the Dutch national immunization program. S. aureus colonisation had doubled in children in the 2+1-dose group at 12 months of age compared with unvaccinated controls (10.1% versus 5.0%; p = 0.019). A negative association for co-colonisation of S. pneumoniae and S. aureus was observed for both vaccine serotype (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 0.53, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.38–0.74) and nonvaccine serotype pneumococci (aOR 0.67, 95% CI 0.52–0.88).
PCV7 induces a temporary increase in S. aureus colonisation in children around 12 months of age after a 2+1-dose PCV7 schedule. The potential clinical consequences are unknown and monitoring is warranted.
Trial Registration NCT00189020
PMCID: PMC3112202  PMID: 21695210
16.  The 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13) elicits cross-functional opsonophagocytic killing responses in humans to Streptococcus pneumoniae serotypes 6C and 7A 
Vaccine  2011;29(41):7207-7211.
The introduction of a 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7) in 2000 dramatically reduced the incidence of invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) caused by the seven serotypes covered by the vaccine. Following the introduction of PCV7, which contains a serotype 6B conjugate, some decrease in IPD due to serotype 6A was noted suggesting that the serotype 6B conjugate provided some partial cross-protection against serotype 6A. However, no effect on serotype 6C was observed. In 2010, a pneumococcal conjugate vaccine with expanded serotype coverage (PCV13) was introduced that expanded the serotype coverage to 13 serotypes including serotype 6A. To assess whether the 6A conjugate in PCV13 could potentially induce functional anti-6C antibody responses, an opsonophagocytic assay (OPA) for serotype 6C was developed. Randomly chosen subsets of immune sera collected from infants receiving three doses of PCV7 or PCV13 were tested in OPA assays for serotype 6A, 6B and 6C. PCV7 immune sera demonstrated strong OPA responses, defined as percentage of subjects having an OPA titer ≥ 1:8, to serotype 6B (100% responders), partial responses to serotype 6A (70% responders) but only minimal responses to serotype 6C (22% responders). In contrast, PCV13 immune sera showed strong OPA responses to serotypes 6A (100% responders), 6B (100% responders) and 6C (96% responders). Furthermore, during pre-clinical work it was observed that serotype 7F (included in PCV13) and serotype 7A (not included in PCV13) shared serogroup-specific epitopes. To determine whether such epitopes also may be eliciting cross-functional antibody, PCV13 immune sera were also tested in serotype 7A and 7F OPA assays. All PCV13 immune sera demonstrated OPA responses to both of these serotypes. Taken together these results suggest that immunization with PCV13 has the potential to induce cross-protective responses to related serotypes not directly covered by the vaccine.
PMCID: PMC3170457  PMID: 21689707
Streptococcus pneumonia; opsonophagocytic killing assay; OPA; PCV13
17.  Pneumococcal conjugate vaccination at birth in a high-risk setting: No evidence for neonatal T-cell tolerance 
Vaccine  2011;29(33-19):5414-5420.
Concerns about the risk of inducing immune deviation-associated “neonatal tolerance” as described in mice have restricted the widespread adoption of neonatal vaccination. The aim of this study was to demonstrate the immunological feasibility of neonatal pneumococcal conjugate vaccination (PCV) which could potentially protect high-risk infants in resource poor countries against severe pneumococcal disease and mortality in the early critical period of life. Papua New Guinean infants were randomized to be vaccinated with the 7-valent PCV (7vPCV) at birth, 1 and 2 months (neonatal group, n = 104) or at 1, 2 and 3 months of age (infant group, n = 105), or to not receive 7vPCV at all (control group, n = 109). Analysis of vaccine responses at 3 and 9 months of age demonstrated persistently higher type-1 (IFN-γ) and type-2 (IL-5 and IL-13) T-cell responses to the protein carrier CRM197 and IgG antibody titres to 7vPCV serotypes in children vaccinated with 7vPCV according to either schedule as compared to unvaccinated children. In a comprehensive immuno-phenotypic analysis at 9 months of age, no differences in the quantity or quality of vaccine-specific T cell memory responses were found between neonatal vaccinations versus children given their first PCV dose at one month. Hospitalization rates in the first month of life did not differ between children vaccinated with PCV at birth or not. These findings demonstrate that neonatal 7vPCV vaccination is safe and not associated with immunological tolerance. Neonatal immunisation schedules should therefore be considered in high-risk areas where this may result in improved vaccine coverage and the earliest possible protection against pneumococcal disease and death.
PMCID: PMC3146700  PMID: 21645573
Immunisation; Newborn; Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine; Safety; Immunogenicity
18.  Otitis media in children vaccinated during consecutive 7-valent or 10-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccination schedules 
BMC Pediatrics  2014;14:200.
In 2001 when 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7) was introduced, almost all (90%) young Australian Indigenous children living in remote communities had some form of otitis media (OM), including 24% with tympanic membrane perforation (TMP). In late 2009, the Northern Territory childhood vaccination schedule replaced PCV7 with 10-valent pneumococcal Haemophilus influenzae protein D conjugate vaccine (PHiD-CV10).
We conducted regular surveillance of all forms of OM in children in remote Indigenous communities between September 2008 and December 2012. This analysis compares children less than 36 months of age who received a primary course of at least two doses of PCV7 or PHiD-CV10, and not more than one dose of another pneumococcal vaccine.
Mean ages of 444 PCV7- and 451 PHiD-CV10-vaccinated children were 20 and 18 months, respectively. Bilaterally normal middle ears were detected in 7% and 9% respectively. OM with effusion was diagnosed in 41% and 51% (Risk Difference 10% [95% Confidence Interval 3 to 17] p = 0.002), any suppurative OM (acute OM or any TMP) in 51% versus 39% (RD −12% [95% CI −19 to −5] p = 0.0004], and TMP in 17% versus 14% (RD −3% [95% CI −8 to 2] p = 0.2), respectively. Multivariate analyses described a similar independent negative association between suppurative OM and PHiD-CV10 compared to PCV7 (Odds Ratio = 0.6 [95% CI 0.4 to 0.8] p = 0.001). Additional children in the household were a risk factor for OM (OR = 2.4 [95% CI 2 to 4] p = 0.001 for the third additional child), and older age and male gender were associated with less disease. Other measured risk factors were non-significant. Similar clinical results were found for children who had received non-mixed PCV schedules.
Otitis media remains a significant health and social issue for Australian Indigenous children despite PCV vaccination. Around 90% of young children have some form of OM. Children vaccinated in with PHiD-CV10 had less suppurative OM than children vaccinated with PCV7. Ongoing surveillance during the PCV13 era, and trials of early intervention including earlier and mixed vaccine schedules are warranted.
PMCID: PMC4149294  PMID: 25109288
Otitis media; Child; Indigenous; Pneumococcal vaccines; Prevalence; Public health; Surveillance; Risk factors
19.  Association between Respiratory Syncytial Virus Activity and Pneumococcal Disease in Infants: A Time Series Analysis of US Hospitalization Data 
PLoS Medicine  2015;12(1):e1001776.
Daniel Weinberger and colleagues examine a possible interaction between two serious respiratory infections in children under 2 years of age.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
The importance of bacterial infections following respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) remains unclear. We evaluated whether variations in RSV epidemic timing and magnitude are associated with variations in pneumococcal disease epidemics and whether changes in pneumococcal disease following the introduction of seven-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7) were associated with changes in the rate of hospitalizations coded as RSV.
Methods and Findings
We used data from the State Inpatient Databases (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality), including >700,000 RSV hospitalizations and >16,000 pneumococcal pneumonia hospitalizations in 36 states (1992/1993–2008/2009). Harmonic regression was used to estimate the timing of the average seasonal peak of RSV, pneumococcal pneumonia, and pneumococcal septicemia. We then estimated the association between the incidence of pneumococcal disease in children and the activity of RSV and influenza (where there is a well-established association) using Poisson regression models that controlled for shared seasonal variations. Finally, we estimated changes in the rate of hospitalizations coded as RSV following the introduction of PCV7. RSV and pneumococcal pneumonia shared a distinctive spatiotemporal pattern (correlation of peak timing: ρ = 0.70, 95% CI: 0.45, 0.84). RSV was associated with a significant increase in the incidence of pneumococcal pneumonia in children aged <1 y (attributable percent [AP]: 20.3%, 95% CI: 17.4%, 25.1%) and among children aged 1–2 y (AP: 10.1%, 95% CI: 7.6%, 13.9%). Influenza was also associated with an increase in pneumococcal pneumonia among children aged 1–2 y (AP: 3.2%, 95% CI: 1.7%, 4.7%). Finally, we observed a significant decline in RSV-coded hospitalizations in children aged <1 y following PCV7 introduction (−18.0%, 95% CI: −22.6%, −13.1%, for 2004/2005–2008/2009 versus 1997/1998–1999/2000). This study used aggregated hospitalization data, and studies with individual-level, laboratory-confirmed data could help to confirm these findings.
These analyses provide evidence for an interaction between RSV and pneumococcal pneumonia. Future work should evaluate whether treatment for secondary bacterial infections could be considered for pneumonia cases even if a child tests positive for RSV.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Respiratory infections—bacterial and viral infections of the lungs and the airways (the tubes that take oxygen-rich air to the lungs)—are major causes of illness and death in children worldwide. Pneumonia (infection of the lungs) alone is responsible for about 15% of all child deaths. The leading cause of bacterial pneumonia in children is Streptococcus pneumoniae, which is transmitted through contact with infected respiratory secretions. S. pneumoniae usually causes noninvasive diseases such as bronchitis, but sometimes the bacteria invade the lungs, the bloodstream, or the covering of the brain, where they cause pneumonia, septicemia, or meningitis, respectively. These potentially fatal invasive pneumococcal diseases can be treated with antibiotics but can also be prevented by vaccination with pneumococcal conjugate vaccines such as PCV7. The leading cause of viral pneumonia is respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), which is also readily transmitted through contact with infected respiratory secretions. Almost all children have an RSV infection before their second birthday—RSV usually causes a mild cold-like illness. However, some children infected with RSV develop pneumonia and have to be admitted to hospital for supportive care such as the provision of supplemental oxygen; there is no specific treatment for RSV infection.
Why Was This Study Done?
Co-infections with bacteria and viruses can sometimes have a synergistic effect and lead to more severe disease than an infection with either type of pathogen (disease-causing organism) alone. For example, influenza infections increase the risk of invasive pneumococcal disease. But does pneumococcal disease also interact with RSV infection? It is important to understand the interaction between pneumococcal disease and RSV to improve the treatment of respiratory infections in young children, but the importance of bacterial infections following RSV infection is currently unclear. Here, the researchers undertake a time series analysis of US hospitalization data to investigate the association between RSV activity and pneumococcal disease in infants. Time series analysis uses statistical methods to analyze data collected at successive, evenly spaced time points.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
For their analysis, the researchers used data collected between 1992/1993 and 2008/2009 by the State Inpatient Databases on more than 700,000 hospitalizations for RSV and more than 16,000 hospitalizations for pneumococcal pneumonia or septicemia among children under two years old in 36 US states. Using a statistical technique called harmonic regression to measure seasonal variations in disease incidence (the rate of occurrence of new cases of a disease), the researchers show that RSV and pneumococcal pneumonia shared a distinctive spatiotemporal pattern over the study period. Next, using Poisson regression models (another type of statistical analysis), they show that RSV was associated with significant increases (increases unlikely to have happened by chance) in the incidence of pneumococcal disease. Among children under one year old, 20.3% of pneumococcal pneumonia cases were associated with RSV activity; among children 1–2 years old, 10.1% of pneumococcal pneumonia cases were associated with RSV activity. Finally, the researchers report that following the introduction of routine vaccination in the US against S. pneumoniae with PCV7 in 2000, there was a significant decline in hospitalizations for RSV among children under one year old.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings provide evidence for an interaction between RSV and pneumococcal pneumonia and indicate that RSV is associated with increases in the incidence of pneumococcal pneumonia, particularly in young infants. Notably, the finding that RSV hospitalizations declined after the introduction of routine pneumococcal vaccination suggests that some RSV hospitalizations may have a joint viral–bacterial etiology (cause), although it is possible that PCV7 vaccination reduced the diagnosis of RSV because fewer children were hospitalized with pneumococcal disease and subsequently tested for RSV. Because this is an ecological study (an observational investigation that looks at risk factors and outcomes in temporally and geographically defined populations), these findings do not provide evidence for a causal link between hospitalizations for RSV and pneumococcal pneumonia. The similar spatiotemporal patterns for the two infections might reflect another unknown factor shared by the children who were hospitalized for RSV or pneumococcal pneumonia. Moreover, because pooled hospitalization discharge data were used in this study, these results need to be confirmed through analysis of individual-level, laboratory-confirmed data. Importantly, however, these findings support the initiation of studies to determine whether treatment for bacterial infections should be considered for children with pneumonia even if they have tested positive for RSV.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at
The US National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute provides information about the respiratory system and about pneumonia
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides information on all aspects of pneumococcal disease and pneumococcal vaccination, including personal stories and information about RSV infection
The UK National Health Service Choices website provides information about pneumonia (including a personal story) and about pneumococcal diseases
KidsHealth, a website provided by the US-based non-profit Nemours Foundation, includes information on pneumonia and on RSV (in English and Spanish)
MedlinePlus provides links to other resources about pneumonia, RSV infections, and pneumococcal infections (in English and Spanish)
HCUPnet provides aggregated hospitalization data from the State Inpatient Databases used in this study
PMCID: PMC4285401  PMID: 25562317
20.  Immunogenicity of Seven-Valent Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine Administered at 6, 14 and 40 Weeks of Age in South African Infants 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(8):e72794.
The high cost of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) and local epidemiological factors contributed to evaluating different PCV dosing-schedules. This study evaluated the immunogenicity of seven-valent PCV (PCV7) administered at 6-weeks; 14-weeks and 9-months of age.
250 healthy, HIV-unexposed infants were immunized with PCV7 concurrently with other childhood vaccines. Serotype-specific anti-capsular IgG concentrations were measured one-month following the 1st and 2nd PCV-doses, prior to and two-weeks following the 3rd dose. Opsonophagocytic killing assay (OPA) was measured for three serotypes following the 2nd and 3rd PCV7-doses. Immunogenicity of the current schedule was compared to a historical cohort of infants who received PCV7 at 6, 10 and 14 weeks of age.
The proportion of infants with serotype-specific antibody ≥0.35 µg/ml following the 2nd PCV7-dose ranged from 84% for 6B to ≥89% for other serotypes. Robust antibody responses were observed following the 3rd dose. The proportion of children with OPA ≥8 for serotypes 9V, 19F and 23F increased significantly following the 3rd PCV7-dose to 93.6%; 86.0% and 89.7% respectively. The quantitative antibody concentrations following the 2nd PCV7-dose were comparable to that after the 3rd -dose in the 6-10-14 week schedule. Geometric mean concentrations (GMCs) following the 3rd PCV7-dose were higher for all serotypes in this study compared to the historical cohort.
The studied PCV7 dosing schedule induced good immune responses, including higher GMCs following the 3rd-dose at 9-months compared to when given at 14-weeks of age. This may confer longer persistence of antibodies and duration of protection against pneumococcal disease.
PMCID: PMC3755982  PMID: 24015277
21.  The Impact of Residency and Urbanicity on Haemophilus influenzae Type b and Pneumococcal Immunization in Shanghai Children: A Retrospective Cohort Study 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(5):e97800.
Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) vaccine and pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) are relatively expensive, newly introduced vaccines in China. This study evaluates the impact of residency and urbanicity on Hib vaccine and PCV coverage for children aged 2 to 7 years living in Shanghai, China, in August 2012.
In this exploratory cohort study, a sample of children aged 2 to 7 years, all of whom were eligible to have received the complete series of Hib vaccine and PCV, was obtained from the Shanghai Immunization Program Information System. Three measures of vaccination coverage for Hib vaccine and PCV were examined: dose 1 coverage, series completion, and timeliness of dose 1 vaccination. Multivariable binomial regression was used to estimate the difference in vaccination coverage between locals and the floating population.
Dose 1 coverage was 50.9% for Hib vaccine and 11.4% for PCV for the 28,141 abstracted pediatric records. For both vaccines, dose 1 coverage was higher in locals than in the floating population. The disparity in coverage between locals and the floating population was greater in suburban areas than urban areas. Of all children who received dose 1, 79.7% completed the Hib vaccine series, and 91.3% completed the PCV series. Timely dose 1 coverage was 8.2% for Hib vaccine and 0.5% for PCV.
Low vaccination coverage and extremely low levels of timely dose 1 vaccination indicate that current vaccination efforts are inadequate to reduce the burden of Hib and pneumococcal disease among Chinese children, especially infants. Government funding of the Hib vaccine and PCV through the Expanded Program on Immunization would increase uptake and could also ensure that improvement in the timeliness of administration and series completion is targeted for all demographic groups.
PMCID: PMC4020859  PMID: 24828814
22.  Pneumococcal Serotype-Specific Antibodies Persist through Early Childhood after Infant Immunization: Follow-Up from a Randomized Controlled Trial 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(3):e91413.
In a previous UK multi-center randomized study 278 children received three doses of 7-valent (PCV-7) or 13-valent (PCV-13) pneumococcal conjugate vaccine at 2, 4 and 12 months of age. At 13 months of age, most of these children had pneumococcal serotype-specific IgG concentrations ≥0.35 µg/ml and opsonophagocytic assay (OPA) titers ≥8.
Children who had participated in the original study were enrolled again at 3.5 years of age. Persistence of immunity following infant immunization with either PCV-7 or PCV-13 and the immune response to a PCV-13 booster at pre-school age were investigated.
In total, 108 children were followed-up to the age of 3.5 years and received a PCV-13 booster at this age. At least 76% of children who received PCV-7 or PCV-13 in infancy retained serotype-specific IgG concentrations ≥0.35 µg/ml against each of 5/7 shared serotypes. For serotypes 4 and 18C, persistence was lower at 22–42%. At least 71% of PCV-13 group participants had IgG concentrations ≥0.35 µg/ml against each of 4/6 of the additional PCV-13 serotypes; for serotypes 1 and 3 this proportion was 45% and 52%. In the PCV-7 group these percentages were significantly lower for serotypes 1, 5 and 7F. A pre-school PCV-13 booster was highly immunogenic and resulted in low rates of local and systemic adverse effects.
Despite some decline in antibody from 13 months of age, these data suggest that a majority of pre-school children maintain protective serotype-specific antibody concentrations following conjugate vaccination at 2, 4 and 12 months of age.
Trial Registration NCT01095471
PMCID: PMC3950188  PMID: 24618837
23.  Cost-effectiveness of adult vaccination strategies using pneumococcal conjugate vaccine compared with pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine 
The cost-effectiveness of 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13) compared with 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV23) among US adults is unclear.
To estimate the cost-effectiveness of PCV13 vaccination strategies in adults to assist vaccination policy decision-making.
Design, Setting, and Population
A Markov state-transition model, lifetime time horizon, societal perspective. Simulations were performed in hypothetical cohorts of US 50-year-olds. Vaccination strategies and effectiveness estimates were developed by a Delphi expert panel; indirect (herd immunity) effects resulting from childhood PCV13 vaccination were extrapolated based on observed PCV7 effects. Data sources for model parameters included CDC Active Bacterial Core surveillance, National Hospital Discharge Survey and Nationwide Inpatient Sample data, and the National Health Interview Survey.
Main Outcome Measures
Pneumococcal disease cases prevented and incremental costs per quality-adjusted life year (QALY) gained.
In the base case scenario, PCV13 given as a substitute for PPSV23 in current recommendations (i.e., vaccination at 65 years and at younger ages if comorbidities are present) cost $28,900/QALY gained compared with no vaccination and was more cost-effective than the currently recommended PPSV23 strategy. Routine PCV13 at ages 50 and 65 years cost $45,100/QALY compared with PCV13 substituted in current recommendations. Adding PPSV23 at age 75 to PCV13 at ages 50 and 65 years gained 0.00002 QALYs, costing $496,000/QALY gained. Results were robust in sensitivity analyses and alternative scenarios, except when low PCV13 effectiveness against nonbacteremic pneumococcal pneumonia was assumed or when greater childhood vaccination indirect effects were modeled. In these cases, PPSV23 as currently recommended was favored.
Overall, PCV13 vaccination was favored compared to PPSV23, but the analysis is sensitive to assumptions about PCV13 effectiveness against NPP and the magnitude of potential indirect effects from childhood PCV13 on pneumococcal serotype distribution.
PMCID: PMC3924773  PMID: 22357831
24.  All-Cause Pneumonia Hospitalizations in Children <2 Years Old in Sweden, 1998 to 2012: Impact of Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine Introduction 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(11):e112211.
In late 2007, some Swedish County Councils started 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7) implementation for children, and PCV7 was included in the national immunization program in 2009. By 2010, both PCV10 and PCV13 were licensed, and the selection of vaccine was subject to County Councils tenders. This study investigated the impact of the order of PCV introduction into vaccination programs on the incidence of all-cause pneumonia hospitalizations in children <2 years-old.
Using population-based data from the publicly available National Inpatient Registry, the incidence of inpatient pneumonia (ICD-10 J12-J18) hospitalizations by County Councils among children <2 years old was identified between 1998 and 2012. Incidence rate ratios (IRR; 95% CI) were calculated during the nationwide implementation of PCV7 and then between County Councils, as based on the higher-valent vaccine chosen for a program.
There was a lower risk of all-cause pneumonia hospitalization among <2 year-old children following the introduction of PCV7, as compared to the pre-PCV7 period (0.77; 0.63–0.93). A decreased risk of all-cause pneumonia was also observed in the County Councils that followed the order PCV7 then PCV13 (0.82; 0.66–1.01), while no trend was observed in County Councils with a program in the order PCV7 then PCV10 (1.03; 0.82–1.30). When comparing the higher-valent vaccines, there was a 21% (0.79; 0.66–0.96) lower risk for childhood pneumonia hospitalization in County Councils finally using PCV13 as compared to the experience in County Councils that ultimately adopted PCV10.
Among children <2 years-old, all-cause pneumonia hospitalizations were significantly reduced by 23% one to two years after introduction of PCV7 vaccination in Sweden. In those County Councils that next introduced PCV13, a further decline in all-cause pneumonia hospitalization was observed, in contrast to those County Councils that followed with PCV10; this 21% lower risk for childhood pneumonia hospitalization was statistically significant.
PMCID: PMC4224441  PMID: 25379659
25.  Nasopharyngeal Carriage Rate and Serotypes of Streptococcus pneumoniae and Antimicrobial Susceptibility in Healthy Korean Children Younger than 5 Years Old: Focus on Influence of Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccination 
Infection & Chemotherapy  2013;45(1):76-84.
Even after pneumococcal vaccination introduction, Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumoccocus) is still an important cause of respiratory and invasive severe infection. Pneumococcus is resided in nasal mucosa and local or systemic infection begins with the nasal mucosa damage. We studied the indirect effect of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) on pneumococcal nasopharyngeal carriage rates, serotypes and antimicrobial susceptibility between vaccinate and non-vaccinated children.
Materials and Methods
From January 2010 to October 2010, 379 healthy children under 5 years old from three university hospitals were recruited. Fully vaccinated children over 3 time doses of PCV and children with no vaccination history of PCV were enrolled, and nasopharyngeal aspirations were obtained from these children. Serotypes using multibead serotyping assay with multiplex PCR and antimicrobial susceptibility was analyzed. Antimicrobial susceptibilities were determined by the CLIS guideline.
Two hundred seventy six children were received pneumococcal vaccination while 103 were not. 137 pneumococci were isolated from nasopharyngeal aspiration specimens. Nasal carriage rate was significantly low in vaccinated group (P-value; 0.001). Nasopharyngeal carriage rate was 28.6% (79/276) in vaccinate group and 56.3% (58/103) in non-vaccinated group. Among those vaccinated group, 13.0% (36/276) of the serotypes were vaccine or vaccine related type with the most common type 19F. In contrast, 31.1% (32/103) of the serotypes in non vaccinated group were vaccine or vaccine related type with the most common type 6A. The resistant rate of penicillin was 90.5%. For antimicrobial susceptibility, amoxicillin and amoxicillin/clavulanate showed high susceptibility (73.0%), but 19F and 19A serotypes were all resistant against amoxicillin.
High nasopharyngeal carriage rate in non vaccinated group corresponded to the result of past study. However, 19F and 19A still came up as problematic serotypes with a high carriage rate and antimicrobial resistance in both vaccinated and non vaccinated groups. Also, this study showed that the resistance rate of primary oral antimicrobial agents was increased in compared to past. For solving these problems, the selective antimicrobial use with establishment of high dose amoxicillin/clavulanate regimen and active PCV immunization should be needed. Furthermore, pneumococcal carriage and serotype study concerning with antimicrobial susceptibility should be conducted in the future in 10 or 13-valent PCV received children.
PMCID: PMC3780942  PMID: 24265953
Streptococcus pneumoniae; Serotype; Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine; Oral antimicrobial; Antimicrobial resistance

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