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1.  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.
Background
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.
Conclusions
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
Background
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 http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001107.
The World Health Organization has information about pneumococcus
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides information about pneumococcal conjugate vaccination
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001107
PMCID: PMC3196470  PMID: 22028630
2.  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
Background
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]).
Conclusions
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
Background
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 http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001517.
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
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001517
PMCID: PMC3782411  PMID: 24086113
3.  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.
Background
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.
Conclusions/Significance
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.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0031050
PMCID: PMC3282700  PMID: 22363544
4.  Indirect Effect of 7-Valent Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine on Pneumococcal Carriage in Newborns in Rural Gambia: A Randomised Controlled Trial 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(11):e49143.
Background
Gambian infants frequently acquire Streptococcus pneumoniae soon after birth. We investigated the indirect effect of 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV-7) on pneumococcal acquisition in newborn Gambian babies.
Methods
Twenty-one villages were randomised to receive PCV-7 to all subjects (11 vaccinated villages) or to infants aged 2–30 months (10 control villages). Other control villagers received Meningococcal C conjugate vaccine. From 328 babies born during the trial, nasopharyngeal swabs were collected after birth, then weekly until 8 weeks of age when they received their first dose of PCV-7. Pneumococcal carriage and acquisition rates were compared between the study arms and with a baseline study.
Results
57.4% of 2245 swabs were positive for S. pneumoniae. Overall carriage was similar in both arms. In vaccinated villages fewer infants carried pneumococci of vaccine serotypes (VT) (16.9% [31/184] vs. 37.5% [54/144], p<0.001) and more carried pneumococci of non-vaccine serotypes (NVT) (80.9% [149/184] vs. 75.7% [109/144], p = 0.246). Infants from vaccinated villages had a significantly lower acquisition rate of VT (HR 0.39 [0.26–0.58], p<0.001) and increased acquisition of NVT (HR 1.16 [0.87–1.56], p = 0.312). VT carriage (51.6% vs. 37.5%, p = 031 in control and 46.1% vs. 16.8%, p<0.001 in vaccinated villages) and acquisition rates (HR 0.68 [0.50–0.92], p = 0.013 in control villages and HR 0.31 [0.19–0.50], p<.001 in vaccinated villages) were significantly lower in both study arms than in the baseline study. NVT carriage (63.2% vs. 75.7%, p = 0.037 in control and 67.2% vs. 75.3%, p = 0.005 in vaccinated villages) and acquisition rates (HR 1.48 [1.06–2.06], p = 0.022) and (HR 1.52 [1.11–2.10], p = 0.010 respectively) were significantly higher.
Conclusion
PCV-7 significantly reduced carriage of VT pneumococci in unvaccinated infants. This indirect effect likely originated from both the child and adult vaccinated populations. Increased carriage of NVT pneumococci needs ongoing monitoring.
Trial Registration
ISRCTN Register 51695599
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0049143
PMCID: PMC3504064  PMID: 23185303
5.  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.
Background
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.
Conclusion
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
Background
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 http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001017.
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)
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001017
PMCID: PMC3071372  PMID: 21483718
6.  Serotype-specific avidity is achieved following a single dose of the 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, and is enhanced by 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide booster at 12 months 
Vaccine  2011;29(27):4499-4506.
Aim
To evaluate whether the avidity of serotype-specific IgG to pneumococcal serotypes is enhanced by an increased number of doses of the 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) in infancy or by a 12 month 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (23vPPS) booster, and /or subsequent re-exposure to a small dose of pneumococcal polysaccharide antigens (mPPS) at 17 months.
Methods
Fijian infants aged 6 weeks were recruited, stratified by ethnicity and randomized to 8 groups to receive 0, 1, 2, or 3 doses of PCV, with or without booster 23vPPS at 12 months. All children received mPPS at 17 months of age. Avidity of serotype-specific IgG for PCV serotypes in the first 12 months and for all 23vPPS serotypes thereafter was assessed by EIA after sodium thiocyanate elution.
Results
At one month post primary series, the 2 and 3 PCV dose groups demonstrated similar avidity, with the single dose group tending to have lower avidity. However, by age 9 months, the single dose group had similar avidity to the 2 and 3 PCV groups for most serotypes. The 23vPPS booster enhanced affinity maturation for most serotypes and this was most marked in those groups that received a single PCV dose. There was little further increase following the mPPS.
Conclusions
By 9 months of age, similar avidity can be induced following one, 2 or 3 doses of PCV. A 23vPPS booster at 12 months enhanced affinity maturation with an increase in antibody avidity for most serotypes. Subsequent re-challenge with mPPS at 17 months did not further enhance the avidity of serotype-specific response in the 12 month 23vPPS groups.
doi:10.1016/j.vaccine.2011.04.038
PMCID: PMC3114163  PMID: 21539882
7.  Direct Effect of 10-Valent Conjugate Pneumococcal Vaccination on Pneumococcal Carriage in Children Brazil 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(6):e98128.
Background
10-valent conjugate pneumococcal vaccine/PCV10 was introduced in the Brazilian National Immunization Program along the year of 2010. We assessed the direct effectiveness of PCV10 vaccination in preventing nasopharyngeal/NP pneumococcal carriage in infants.
Methods
A cross-sectional population-based household survey was conducted in Goiania Brazil, from December/2010-February/2011 targeting children aged 7–11 m and 15–18 m. Participants were selected using a systematic sampling. NP swabs, demographic data, and vaccination status were collected from 1,287 children during home visits. Main outcome and exposure of interest were PCV10 vaccine-type carriage and dosing schedules (3p+0, 2p+0, and one catch-up dose), respectively. Pneumococcal carriage was defined by a positive culture and serotyping was performed by Quellung reaction. Rate ratio/RR was calculated as the ratio between the prevalence of vaccine-types carriage in children exposed to different schedules and unvaccinated for PCV10. Adjusted RR was estimated using Poisson regression. PCV10 effectiveness/VE on vaccine-type carriage was calculated as 1-RR*100.
Results
The prevalence of pneumococcal carriage was 41.0% (95%CI: 38.4–43.7). Serotypes covered by PCV10 and PCV13 were 35.2% and 53.0%, respectively. Vaccine serotypes 6B (11.6%), 23F (7.8%), 14 (6.8%), and 19F (6.6%) were the most frequently observed. After adjusted for confounders, children who had received 2p+0 or 3p+0 dosing schedule presented a significant reduction in pneumococcal vaccine-type carriage, with PCV10 VE equal to 35.9% (95%CI: 4.2–57.1; p = 0.030) and 44.0% (95%CI: 14.–63.5; p = 0.008), respectively, when compared with unvaccinated children. For children who received one catch-up dose, no significant VE was detected (p = 0.905).
Conclusion
PCV10 was associated with high protection against vaccine-type carriage with 2p+0 and 3p+0 doses for children vaccinated before the second semester of life. The continuous evaluation of carriage serotypes distribution is likely to be useful for evaluating the long-term effectiveness and impact of pneumococcal vaccination on serotypes reduction.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0098128
PMCID: PMC4043727  PMID: 24892409
8.  Hyporesponsiveness to Re-challenge Dose Following Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Vaccine at 12 Months of Age, a Randomized Controlled Trial 
Vaccine  2010;28(19):3341-3349.
Background
To evaluate the immunological impact of the 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (23vPPS) at 12 months, for children who have received zero to three infant doses of seven-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV), on responses to a subsequent exposure to a small dose of 23vPPS (mPPS).
Methods
Five hundred and fifty-two Fijian infants were stratified by ethnicity and randomized into eight groups to receive zero, one, two, or three PCV doses at 14 weeks, six and 14 weeks, or six, ten, and 14 weeks. Within each group, half received 23vPPS at 12 months and all received mPPS at 17 months. Sera were taken prior and one month post-mPPS.
Findings
By 17 months, geometric mean antibody concentrations (GMC) to all 23 serotypes in 23vPPS were significantly higher in children who had received 23vPPS at 12 months compared to those who had not. Post-mPPS, children who had not received the 12 month 23vPPS had a significantly higher GMC for all PCV serotypes compared with those who had (each p<0.02). For the non-PCV serotypes, children who had not received the 12 month 23vPPS had significantly higher GMC for six of 16 non-PCV serotypes (7F, 9N, 12F, 19A, 22F, 33F) than those who did (each p<0.02). After adjusting for the pre-mPPS level, exposure to 23vPPS was associated with a lower response to mPPS for all serotypes (each p<0.001).
Interpretation
Despite higher antibody concentrations at 17 months in children who had received 23vPPS at 12 months, the response to a re-challenge was poor for all 23 serotypes compared to children who had not received the 12 month 23vPPS.
doi:10.1016/j.vaccine.2010.02.087
PMCID: PMC2854305  PMID: 20206670
9.  Epidemiology of nasopharyngeal carriage of respiratory bacterial pathogens in children and adults: cross-sectional surveys in a population with high rates of pneumococcal disease 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2010;10:304.
Background
To determine the prevalence of carriage of respiratory bacterial pathogens, and the risk factors for and serotype distribution of pneumococcal carriage in an Australian Aboriginal population.
Methods
Surveys of nasopharyngeal carriage of Streptococcus pneumoniae, non-typeable Haemophilus influenzae, and Moraxella catarrhalis were conducted among adults (≥16 years) and children (2 to 15 years) in four rural communities in 2002 and 2004. Infant seven-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (7PCV) with booster 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine was introduced in 2001. Standard microbiological methods were used.
Results
At the time of the 2002 survey, 94% of eligible children had received catch-up pneumococcal vaccination. 324 adults (538 examinations) and 218 children (350 examinations) were enrolled. Pneumococcal carriage prevalence was 26% (95% CI, 22-30) among adults and 67% (95% CI, 62-72) among children. Carriage of non-typeable H. influenzae among adults and children was 23% (95% CI, 19-27) and 57% (95% CI, 52-63) respectively and for M. catarrhalis, 17% (95% CI, 14-21) and 74% (95% CI, 69-78) respectively. Adult pneumococcal carriage was associated with increasing age (p = 0.0005 test of trend), concurrent carriage of non-typeable H. influenzae (Odds ratio [OR] 6.74; 95% CI, 4.06-11.2) or M. catarrhalis (OR 3.27; 95% CI, 1.97-5.45), male sex (OR 2.21; 95% CI, 1.31-3.73), rhinorrhoea (OR 1.66; 95% CI, 1.05-2.64), and frequent exposure to outside fires (OR 6.89; 95% CI, 1.87-25.4). Among children, pneumococcal carriage was associated with decreasing age (p < 0.0001 test of trend), and carriage of non-typeable H. influenzae (OR 9.34; 95% CI, 4.71-18.5) or M. catarrhalis (OR 2.67; 95% CI, 1.34-5.33). Excluding an outbreak of serotype 1 in children, the percentages of serotypes included in 7, 10, and 13PCV were 23%, 23%, and 29% (adults) and 22%, 24%, and 40% (2-15 years). Dominance of serotype 16F, and persistent 19F and 6B carriage three years after initiation of 7PCV is noteworthy.
Conclusions
Population-based carriage of S. pneumoniae, non-typeable H. influenzae, and M. catarrhalis was high in this Australian Aboriginal population. Reducing smoke exposure may reduce pneumococcal carriage. The indirect effects of 10 or 13PCV, above those of 7PCV, among adults in this population may be limited.
doi:10.1186/1471-2334-10-304
PMCID: PMC2974682  PMID: 20969800
10.  Emerging pneumococcal carriage serotypes in a high-risk population receiving universal 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine and 23-valent polysaccharide vaccine since 2001 
Background
In Australia in June 2001, a unique pneumococcal vaccine schedule commenced for Indigenous infants; seven-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (7PCV) given at 2, 4, and 6 months of age and 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (23PPV) at 18 months of age. This study presents carriage serotypes following this schedule.
Methods
We conducted cross sectional surveys of pneumococcal carriage in Aboriginal children 0 to 6 years of age living in remote Aboriginal communities (RACs) in 2003 and 2005. Nasal secretions were collected and processed according to published methods.
Results
902 children (mean age 25 months) living in 29 communities in 2003 and 818 children (mean age 35 months) in 17 communities in 2005 were enrolled. 87% children in 2003 and 96% in 2005 had received two or more doses of 7PCV. From 2003 to 2005, pneumococcal carriage was reduced from 82% to 76% and reductions were apparent in all age groups; 7PCV-type carriage was reduced from 11% to 8%, and 23PPV-non-7PCV-type carriage from 31% to 25% respectively. Thus non-23PPV-type carriage increased from 57% to 67%. All these changes were statistically significant, as were changes for some specific serotypes. Shifts could not be attributed to vaccination alone. The top 10 of 40 serotypes identified were (in descending order) 16F, 19A, 11A, 6C, 23B, 19F, 6A, 35B, 6B, 10A and 35B. Carriage of penicillin non-susceptible (MIC > = 0.12 μg/mL) strains (15% overall) was detected in serotypes (descending order) 19A, 19F, 6B, 16F, 11A, 9V, 23B, and in 4 additional serotypes. Carriage of azithromycin resistant (MIC > = 2 μg/mL) strains (5% overall), was detected in serotypes (descending order) 23B, 17F, 9N, 6B, 6A, 11A, 23F, and in 10 additional serotypes including 6C.
Conclusion
Pneumococcal carriage remains high (~80%) in this vaccinated population. Uptake of both pneumococcal vaccines increased, and carriage was reduced between 2003 and 2005. Predominant serotypes in combined years were 16F, 19A, 11A, 6C and 23B. Antimicrobial non-susceptibility was detected in these and 17 additional serotypes. Shifts in serotype-specific carriage suggest a need more research to clarify the association between pneumococcal vaccination and carriage at the serotype level.
doi:10.1186/1471-2334-9-121
PMCID: PMC2736967  PMID: 19650933
11.  Effect of Age and Vaccination With a Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine on the Density of Pneumococcal Nasopharyngeal Carriage 
This study evaluated the impact of age and pneumococcal vaccination on the density of pneumococcal nasopharyngeal carriage. Among colonized individuals, density decreased with increasing age. Time-trends analysis revealed that pneumococcal vaccination appeared to lower the density of nasopharyngeal carriage.
Background. This study evaluated the impact of age and pneumococcal vaccination on the density of pneumococcal nasopharyngeal carriage.
Methods. A cluster-randomized trial was conducted in rural Gambia. In 11 villages (the vaccine group), all residents received 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV-7), while in another 10 villages (the control group), only children <30 months old or born during the study period received PCV-7. Cross-sectional surveys (CSSs) were conducted to collect nasopharyngeal swabs before vaccination (baseline CSS) and 4, 12, and 22 months after vaccination. Pneumococcal density was defined using a semiquantitative classification (range, 1–4) among colonized individuals. An age-trend analysis of density was conducted using data from the baseline CSS. Mean pneumococcal density was compared in CSSs conducted before and after vaccination.
Results. Mean bacterial density among colonized individuals in the baseline CSS was 2.57 for vaccine-type (VT) and non–vaccine-type (NVT) pneumococci; it decreased with age (P < .001 for VT and NVT). There was a decrease in the density of VT carriage following vaccination in individuals older than 5 years (from 2.44 to 1.88; P = .001) and in younger individuals (from 2.57 to 2.11; P = .070) in the vaccinated villages. Similar decreases in density were observed with NVT within vaccinated and control villages. No significant differences were found between vaccinated and control villages in the postvaccination comparisons for either VT or NVT.
Conclusions. A high density of carriage among young subjects might partly explain why children are more efficient than adults in pneumococcal transmission. PCV-7 vaccination lowered the density of VT and of NVT pneumococcal carriage in the before-after vaccination analysis.
Clinical Trials Registration. ISRCTN51695599.
doi:10.1093/cid/cis554
PMCID: PMC3423933  PMID: 22700830
12.  Systematic Review of the Effect of Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine Dosing Schedules on Vaccine-type Nasopharyngeal Carriage 
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):S152-S160.
Background:
Pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (PCV) reduce nasopharyngeal carriage of vaccine type (VT) pneumococci, an important driver of vaccine programs’ overall benefits. The dosing schedule that best reduces carriage is unclear.
Methods:
We performed a systematic review of English language publications from 1994 to 2010 (supplemented post hoc with studies from 2011) reporting PCV effects on VT carriage to assess variability in effect by dosing schedule.
Results:
We identified 32 relevant studies (36 citations) from 12,980 citations reviewed. Twenty-one (66%) evaluated PCV7; none used PCV10 or PCV13. Five studies evaluated 2 primary doses and 13 three primary doses. After the first year of life, 14 evaluated 3-dose primary series with PCV booster (3+1), seven 3 doses plus 23-valent polysaccharide booster “3+1PPV23,” five “3+0,” four “2+1,” three “2+1PPV23” and two “2+0.” Four studies directly compared schedules. From these, 3 primary doses reduced VT carriage more than 2 doses at 1–7 months following the series (1 study significant; 2 borderline). In a study, the 2+1 schedule reduced VT carriage more than 2+0 at 18, but not at 24 months of age. One study of a 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine booster showed no effect. All 16 clinical trials with unvaccinated controls and 11 observational studies with before-after designs showed reduction in VT carriage.
Conclusions:
The available literature demonstrates VT-carriage reduction for 2+0, 2+1, 3+0 and 3+1 PCV schedules, but not for 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine booster. Comparisons between schedules show that 3 primary doses and a 2+1 schedule may reduce carriage more than 2 primary doses and a 2+0 schedule, respectively.
doi:10.1097/INF.0000000000000083
PMCID: PMC3940522  PMID: 24336057
pneumococcal conjugate vaccine; immunization schedule; nasopharyngeal carriage; nasopharyngeal colonization; systematic review
13.  Pneumococcal Carriage in Young Children One Year after Introduction of the 13-Valent Conjugate Vaccine in Italy 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(10):e76309.
Background
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.
Methods
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).
Results
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.
Conclusions
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.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0076309
PMCID: PMC3790677  PMID: 24124543
14.  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.
Background
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.
Results
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.
Conclusions
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.
doi:10.3947/ic.2013.45.1.76
PMCID: PMC3780942  PMID: 24265953
Streptococcus pneumoniae; Serotype; Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine; Oral antimicrobial; Antimicrobial resistance
15.  Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine Given Shortly After Birth Stimulates Effective Antibody Concentrations and Primes Immunological Memory for Sustained Infant Protection 
Immunization of Kenyan newborns with 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine is safe and immunogenic. Compared with the Expanded Programme on Immunization schedule beginning at 6 weeks, it stimulates similar antibody concentrations at 18 weeks and induces equal responses to a 9-month booster dose.
Background. In developing countries, newborn immunization with pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (PCVs) could protect young infants who are at high risk of invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) but might lead to immune tolerance.
Methods. In a randomized trial, young infants received 7-valent PCV at 6, 10, and 14 weeks (Expanded Programme on Immunization [EPI] group) or 0, 10, and 14 weeks (newborn group). Safety was monitored actively at 2–7 days and then passively. Serum samples obtained at birth and 6, 10, 14, 18, 36, and 37 weeks were assayed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for anticapsular immunoglobulin G concentration and avidity. Infants were boosted with either 7-valent PCV or one-fifth dose of pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine at 36 weeks. Nasopharyngeal swab samples were obtained at 18 and 36 weeks.
Results. Three-hundred neonates and young infants were enrolled. Newborn vaccination was well tolerated. Adverse events occurred equally in each group; none was related to immunization. One infant, immunized at birth, died of unrelated neonatal sepsis. At 18 weeks, protective concentrations (≥0.35 μg/mL) were achieved against each serotype by ≥87% of infants with no significant differences between groups. Geometric mean concentrations were higher in the EPI group for serotypes 4, 9V, 18C, and 19F at 18 weeks and for serotype 4 at 36 weeks. Avidity was greater in the newborn group for serotypes 4, 6B, and 19F at 18 weeks and for serotype 19F at 36 weeks. Booster responses and vaccine-type/nonvaccine-type carriage prevalence did not differ between groups.
Conclusions. PCV was safe, immunogenic, and primed for memory when given at birth. There was no evidence of immune tolerance. Vaccination beginning at birth offers an alternative to control IPD in vulnerable young infants.
doi:10.1093/cid/cir444
PMCID: PMC3166350  PMID: 21865175
16.  Decrease in Pneumococcal Co-Colonization following Vaccination with the Seven-Valent Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(1):e30235.
Understanding the epidemiology of pneumococcal co-colonization is important for monitoring vaccine effectiveness and the occurrence of horizontal gene transfer between pneumococcal strains. In this study we aimed to evaluate the impact of the seven-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7) on pneumococcal co-colonization among Portuguese children. Nasopharyngeal samples from children up to 6 years old yielding a pneumococcal culture were clustered into three groups: pre-vaccine era (n = 173), unvaccinated children of the vaccine era (n = 169), and fully vaccinated children (4 doses; n = 150). Co-colonization, serotype identification, and relative serotype abundance were detected by analysis of DNA of the total bacterial growth of the primary culture plate using the plyNCR-RFLP method and a molecular serotyping microarray-based strategy. The plyNCR-RFLP method detected an overall co-colonization rate of 20.1%. Microarray analysis confirmed the plyNCR-RFLP results. Vaccination status was the only factor found to be significantly associated with co-colonization: co-colonization rates were significantly lower (p = 0.004; Fisher's exact test) among fully vaccinated children (8.0%) than among children from the pre-PCV7 era (17.3%) or unvaccinated children of the PCV7 era (18.3%). In the PCV7 era there were significantly less non-vaccine type (NVT) co-colonization events than would be expected based on the NVT distribution observed in the pre-PCV7 era (p = 0.024). In conclusion, vaccination with PCV7 resulted in a lower co-colonization rate due to an asymmetric distribution between NVTs found in single and co-colonized samples. We propose that some NVTs prevalent in the PCV7 era are more competitive than others, hampering their co-existence in the same niche. This result may have important implications since a decrease in co-colonization events is expected to translate in decreased opportunities for horizontal gene transfer, hindering pneumococcal evolution events such as acquisition of antibiotic resistance determinants or capsular switch. This might represent a novel potential benefit of conjugate vaccines.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0030235
PMCID: PMC3257259  PMID: 22253924
17.  High Nasopharyngeal Carriage of Non-Vaccine Serotypes in Western Australian Aboriginal People Following 10 Years of Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccination 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(12):e82280.
Background
Invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) continues to occur at high rates among Australian Aboriginal people. The seven-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (7vPCV) was given in a 2-4-6-month schedule from 2001, with a 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (23vPPV) booster at 18 months, and replaced with 13vPCV in July 2011. Since carriage surveillance can supplement IPD surveillance, we have monitored pneumococcal carriage in western Australia (WA) since 2008 to assess the impact of the 10-year 7vPCV program.
Methods
We collected 1,500 nasopharyngeal specimens from Aboriginal people living in varied regions of WA from August 2008 until June 2011. Specimens were cultured on selective media. Pneumococcal isolates were serotyped by the quellung reaction.
Results
Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae and Moraxella catarrhalis were carried by 71.9%, 63.2% and 63.3% respectively of children <5 years of age, and 34.6%, 22.4% and 27.2% of people ≥5 years. Of 43 pneumococcal serotypes identified, the most common were 19A, 16F and 6C in children <5 years, and 15B, 34 and 22F in older people. 7vPCV serotypes accounted for 14.5% of all serotypeable isolates, 13vPCV for 32.4% and 23vPPV for 49.9%, with little variation across all age groups. Serotypes 1 and 12F were rarely identified, despite causing recent IPD outbreaks in WA. Complete penicillin resistance (MIC ≥2µg/ml) was found in 1.6% of serotype 19A (5.2%), 19F (4.9%) and 16F (3.2%) isolates and reduced penicillin susceptibility (MIC ≥0.125µg/ml) in 24.9% of isolates, particularly 19F (92.7%), 19A (41.3%), 16F (29.0%). Multi-resistance to cotrimoxazole, tetracycline and erythromycin was found in 83.0% of 23F isolates. Among non-serotypeable isolates 76.0% had reduced susceptibility and 4.0% showed complete resistance to penicillin.
Conclusions
Ten years after introduction of 7vPCV for Aboriginal Australian children, 7vPCV serotypes account for a small proportion of carried pneumococci. A large proportion of circulating serotypes are not covered by any currently licensed vaccine.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0082280
PMCID: PMC3857785  PMID: 24349245
18.  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.
doi:10.1128/CVI.00062-10
PMCID: PMC2884425  PMID: 20427630
19.  Safety and Immunogenicity of Neonatal Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccination in Papua New Guinean Children: A Randomised Controlled Trial 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(2):e56698.
Background
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.
Methods
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.
Results
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.
Conclusions
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
ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00219401NCT00219401
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0056698
PMCID: PMC3579820  PMID: 23451070
20.  Pneumococcal Serotype-Specific Antibodies Persist through Early Childhood after Infant Immunization: Follow-Up from a Randomized Controlled Trial 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(3):e91413.
Background
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.
Methods
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.
Results
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.
Conclusion
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
ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01095471
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0091413
PMCID: PMC3950188  PMID: 24618837
21.  Nasopharyngeal Carriage of Pneumococci Four Years after Community-Wide Vaccination with PCV-7 in The Gambia: Long-Term Evaluation of a Cluster Randomized Trial 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(9):e72198.
Background
A village-randomized trial of a seven-valent pneumococcal-conjugate-vaccine (PCV-7) conducted in rural Gambia showed a decrease of vaccine-type (VT) and a non-significant increase in non-vaccine-type (NVT) nasopharyngeal carriage of pneumococci two years after vaccination. Here, we report findings four years after vaccination.
Methods
PCV-7 was given to all children below 30 months of age enrolled in the trial and to those born during its course in all study villages. Villages were randomized (older children and adults) to receive PCV-7 (wholly vaccinated villages) or serogroup-C-meningococcal-conjugate-vaccine (partly vaccinated villages). Cross-sectional surveys (CSS) to collect nasopharyngeal swabs were conducted before and at various intervals after vaccination. Sixteen of these randomized villages (8 wholly vaccinated and 8 partly vaccinated) participated in a CSS conducted four years after vaccination started.
Results
Four years after vaccination, the prevalence of VT pneumococcal carriage was slightly higher in partly than in wholly vaccinated villages [6.4% versus 3.9% (p = 0.120)] compared to 24.4% in the pre-vaccination CSS (p<0.001). Prevalence of NVT four years after vaccination was similar between study groups [32.7% versus 29.8% (p = 0.392), respectively] compared to 51.1% in the pre-vaccination CSS (p<0.001). Four years after vaccination started, lower prevalence of serotype 6A was detected in wholly vaccinated than in partly vaccinated villages (1.6% versus 3.5%, p = 0.093) whilst the prevalence of serotype 19A was similar between groups (2.9% versus 2.5%, p = 0.779). The most prevalent serotype 19A clone was ST 847. The most prevalent serotype 6A clone before vaccination was ST3324 whilst after vaccination ST913 and ST1737 predominated. Fourteen out of 26 STs detected among the serotype 6A isolates were new while no new 19A serotype ST was found.
Conclusions
The decline in prevalence of VT pneumococci seen shortly after PCV-7 vaccination was sustained four years later with only a small difference between study arms. No significant serotype replacement was detected.
Trial Registration
ClinicalTrials.gov ISRCTN51695599
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0072198
PMCID: PMC3785494  PMID: 24086259
22.  Nasopharyngeal flora in children with acute otitis media before and after implementation of 7 valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine in France 
Background
Several studies have investigated the impact of 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7) on pneumococcal (Sp) and staphylococcal (Sa) nasopharyngeal (NP) carriage. Few have investigated the impact on Haemophilus influenzae (Hi) and Moraxella catarrhalis (Mc) carriage. We aimed to compare the NP carriage rates in young children with acute otitis media (AOM) before and after PCV7 implementation in France.
Methods
Prior to PCV7 implementation, we performed 4 successive randomized trials with NP samples. These studies compared several antibiotic regimens for treating AOM in young children (6 to 30 months). After PCV7 implementation, to assess the impact of the vaccination program on NP flora, young children with AOM were enrolled in a prospective surveillance study. In each study, we obtained an NP sample to analyze the carriage rates of Sp, Hi, Mc and Sa and the factors influencing the carriage. Standardized history and physical examination findings were recorded; the methods used for NP swabs (sampling and cultures) were the same in all studies.
Results
We enrolled 4,405 children (mean age 13.9 months, median 12.8). Among the 2,598 children enrolled after PCV7 implementation, 98.3% were vaccinated with PCV7. In comparing the pre- and post-PCV7 periods, we found a slight but non-significant decrease in carriage rates of pneumococcus (AOR = 0.85 [0.69;1.05]), H. influenzae (AOR = 0.89 [0.73;1.09]) and S. aureus (AOR = 0.92 [0.70;1.19]). By contrast, the carriage rate of M. catarrhalis increased slightly but not significantly between the 2 periods (AOR = 1.08 [0.95;1.2]). Among Sp carriers, the proportion of PCV7 vaccine types decreased from 66.6% to 10.7% (P < 0.001), penicillin intermediate-resistant strains increased from 30.3% to 43.4% (P < 0.001), and penicillin-resistant strains decreased greatly from 22.8% to 3.8% (P < 0.001). The proportion of Hi ß-lactamase-producing strains decreased from 38.6% to 17.1% (P < 0.001).
Conclusion
The carriage rates of otopathogen species (Sp, Hi, Mc) and Sa did not significantly change in children with AOM after PCV7 implementation in France. However, we observed significant changes in carriage rates of PCV7 vaccine serotypes and penicillin non-susceptible Sp.
doi:10.1186/1471-2334-12-52
PMCID: PMC3323894  PMID: 22397629
23.  Streptococcus pneumoniae Carriage in the Gaza Strip 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(4):e35061.
Background
Pneumococcal infections cause major morbidity and mortality in developing countries. We report the epidemiology of S. pneumoniae carriage in a developing region, the Gaza strip, and evaluate the theoretical coverage of carriage strains by pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (PCVs).
Methodology
In 2009 we conducted a cross-sectional survey of S. pneumoniae carriage in healthy children and their parents, living throughout the Gaza strip. Data were collected and nasopharyngeal swabs were obtained. Antibiotic susceptibilities were determined by Vitek-2 and serotypes by the Quellung reaction.
Principal Findings
S. pneumoniae carriage was detected in 189/379 (50%) of children and 30/376 (8%) of parents. Carriage prevalence was highest in children <6 months of age (63%). Significant predictors for child carriage were number of household members and DCC attendance. The proportion of pediatric and adults isolates with serotypes included in PCV7 were 32% and 20% respectively, and 46% and 33% in PCV13 respectively. The most prominent non-vaccine serotypes (NVT) were 35B, 15B/C and 23B. Penicillin-nonsusceptible strains were carried by70% of carriers, penicillin-resistant strains (PRSP) by 13% and Multi-drug-resistant (MDR) by 30%. Of all PRSP isolates 54% belonged to serotypes included in PCV7 and 71% in the PCV13. Similarly, 59% and 73% of MDR-SP isolates, would theoretically be covered by PCV7 and PCV13, respectively.
Conclusions
This study demonstrates that, PCV13-included strains were carried by 46% and 33% of pediatric and adult subjects respectively. In the absence of definitive data regarding the virulence of the NVT strains, it is difficult to predict the effect of PCVs on IPD in this region.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0035061
PMCID: PMC3335158  PMID: 22539955
24.  Effect of Seven-Valent Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine on Staphylococcus aureus Colonisation in a Randomised Controlled Trial 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(6):e20229.
Background
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).
Conclusions/Significance
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
ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00189020
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0020229
PMCID: PMC3112202  PMID: 21695210
25.  Pneumococcal Antibody Concentrations of Subjects in Communities Fully or Partially Vaccinated with a Seven-Valent Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(8):e42997.
Background
A recent trial with PCV-7 in a rural Gambian community showed reduced vaccine-type pneumococcal carriage in fully vaccinated compared with control communities. We measured pneumococcal polysaccharide antibody concentrations in this trial to understand further the mechanisms underlying the observed changes.
Methods
A single-blind, cluster-randomized (by village) trial was conducted in 21 Gambian villages. In 11 villages, all residents received PCV-7 (Vaccine group); in 10 control villages only children <30 months old or those born during the study received PCV-7. Subjects over the age of 30 months resident in vaccine villages received a single dose of PCV-7 whilst those in control villages received a single dose of a serogroup C meningococcal conjugate vaccine. Serum antibody concentrations against specific pneumococcal polysaccharides were measured in approximately 200 age-stratified subjects before, 4–6, 12 and 24 months following vaccination.
Results
Baseline pneumococcal antibody concentrations were generally high and increased with age up to 10 years. One dose of PCV-7 increased geometric mean antibody concentrations (GMC) in vaccinated versus control villages for vaccine serotypes 6B and 18C, and 4 and 18C, in the young (under 5 years) and older age groups (5+ years) respectively. There were significantly higher proportions of subjects in the vaccinated than in the control communities with an antibody concentration believed to protect against carriage (>5.0 µg/mL) for all but serotype 9V of the PCV-7 serotypes in the older group, but not in the younger age group.
Conclusion
Higher antibodies in vaccinated communities provide an explanation for the lower pneumococcal carriage rates in fully vaccinated compared to control communities.
Trial Registration
Controlled-Trials.com ISRCTN51695599 51695599.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0042997
PMCID: PMC3419246  PMID: 22916192

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