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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.
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
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
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
3.  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.
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.
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.
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.
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
PMCID: PMC3504064  PMID: 23185303
4.  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
5.  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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
PMCID: PMC3114163  PMID: 21539882
6.  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
7.  Pneumococcal nasopharyngeal carriage in children <5  years of age visiting the pediatric emergency room in relation to PCV7 and PCV13 introduction in southern Israel 
The 7-valent and the 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (PCV7 and PCV13, respectively) were introduced to the Israeli National Immunization plan in July 2009 and November 2010, respectively. Our aim was to assess pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (PCVs) uptake and dynamics in serotype-specific pneumococcal nasopharyngeal (NP) carriage in children <5  years old in southern Israel, during the immediate 5 y following PCV introduction. This was an ongoing, prospective, population-based, active surveillance, from July 2009 through December 2014. PCVs uptake and NP cultures were obtained daily from children seen at the Pediatric Emergency Room for any reason. Overall, 10,702 vaccine status and 7,610 NP swabs were obtained. Both PCV7 and PCV13 uptake were high, reaching ˜90% by July 2012 and December 2013, respectively. All-pneumococcal carriage rates significantly declined by 10%, from 54.3% in the early-PCV7 period, to 49.1% in the PCV13 impact period. The respective declines for PCV7, 6A and additional PCV13 serotypes carriage rates were 76%, 90% and 66%. In contrast, non-PCV13 serotypes carriage rates increased significantly throughout the study by 71%. All-pneumococcal carriage rates in children <12  months old decreased significantly by 15%, with similar trends observed in other age groups. Initially, all-pneumococcal carriage rates were 45.7%, and 61.9% in Jewish and Bedouin children, respectively (P < 0.001), with a significant 17% reduction throughout the study observed only in Bedouins. While early carriage rates were higher in unvaccinated children compared to vaccinated children, PCV impact on carriage were similar in both groups. In conclusion, a relatively moderate decline in pneumococcal carriage rates, facilitated by a substantial decrease of vaccine-serotypes and increase of non-vaccine serotypes was observed in the immediate period following PCVs introduction in southern Israel.
PMCID: PMC5049747  PMID: 26430921
children; impact; nasopharyngeal carriage; pneumococcal conjugate vaccine; vaccine uptake
8.  Direct Effect of 10-Valent Conjugate Pneumococcal Vaccination on Pneumococcal Carriage in Children Brazil 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(6):e98128.
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.
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.
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).
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.
PMCID: PMC4043727  PMID: 24892409
9.  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.
PMCID: PMC3423933  PMID: 22700830
10.  Hyporesponsiveness to Re-challenge Dose Following Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Vaccine at 12 Months of Age, a Randomized Controlled Trial 
Vaccine  2010;28(19):3341-3349.
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).
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.
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).
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.
PMCID: PMC2854305  PMID: 20206670
11.  Emerging pneumococcal carriage serotypes in a high-risk population receiving universal 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine and 23-valent polysaccharide vaccine since 2001 
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.
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.
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.
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.
PMCID: PMC2736967  PMID: 19650933
12.  Impaired immune function following pneumococcal vaccination in infants with prior carriage 
Vaccine  2014;32(20):2321-2327.
The impact of prior nasopharyngeal carriage on serotype-specific IgG responses following immunisation with pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (PCV) has recently been described. This report extends these findings to describe the attenuation of functional immune responses following 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccination (PPS). We report the attenuation of immune responses following booster with the 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccination (PPS) in infants with prior nasopharyngeal carriage of Streptococcus pneumoniae. Fijian infants who were part of a phase II randomized, controlled trial of reduced dose PCV7 schedules were the basis of this study. Pneumococcal carriage was determined at 6, 9 and 12 months of age, prior to PPS immunisation. Serum samples collected at 18 weeks (post-PCV7), 12 months (pre-PPS), 12.5 months and 17 months (post-PPS) of age were assessed for serotype-specific IgG and opsonophagocytic responses. The most frequently carried serotypes were 6B (N=11), 19F (N=14) and 23F (N=23). Significantly lower serotype-specific IgG for 19F, 23F but not 6B post-PPS were detected in infants with homologous serotype carriage prior to PPS compared with non-carriers (N=230). However, OPA levels for 6B and 23F were lower in infants that carried these serotypes. Pneumococcal carriage with 19F or 23F at any time prior to PPS immunisation in infants at 12 months of age who were previously primed with PCV resulted in serotype-specific hyporesponsiveness that persisted until 17 months of age. These results may have implications for the timing of infant vaccine schedules, particularly in high disease burden settings.
PMCID: PMC4019672  PMID: 24613524
pneumococcal; carriage; PPS; opsonophagocytosis; hyporesponsiveness
13.  Long-term impact of pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccination on nasopharyngeal carriage in children following a reduced dose pneumococcal conjugate vaccine primary series in infancy 
Vaccine  2015;33(42):5708-5714.
Previously, the Fiji Pneumococcal Project (FiPP) evaluated reduced dose immunization schedules that incorporated pneumococcal protein conjugate and/or polysaccharide vaccine (PCV7 and 23vPPV, respectively). Immune hyporesponsiveness was observed in children vaccinated with 23vPPV at 12 months of age compared with children who did not receive 23vPPV.
Here we assess the long-term impact of 23vPPV vaccination on nasopharyngeal carriage rates and densities of Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, Staphylococcus aureus and Moraxella catarrhalis. Nasopharyngeal swabs (n=194) were obtained from healthy children who participated in FiPP (now aged 5–7 years). S. pneumoniae were isolated and identified by standard culture-based methods, and serotyped using latex agglutination and the Quellung reaction. Carriage rates and densities of S. pneumoniae, H. influenzae, S. aureus and M. catarrhalis were determined using real-time quantitative PCR.
There were no differences in the rate or density of S. pneumoniae, H. influenzae or M. catarrhalis carriage by PCV7 dose or 23vPPV vaccination in the vaccinated participants overall. However, differences were observed between the two main ethnic groups: Fijian children of Indian descent (Indo-Fijian) were less likely to carry S. pneumoniae, H. influenzae and M. catarrhalis, and there was evidence of a higher carriage rate of S. aureus compared with indigenous Fijian (iTaukei) children. Polysaccharide vaccination appeared to have effects that varied between ethnic groups, with 23vPPV vaccination associated with a higher carriage rate of S. aureus in iTaukei children, while there was a lower carriage rate of S. pneumoniae associated with 23vPPV vaccination in Indo-Fijian children.
Overall, polysaccharide vaccination had no long-term impact on pneumococcal carriage, but may have impacted on S. aureus carriage and have varying effects in ethnic groups, suggesting current WHO vaccine schedule recommendations against the use of 23vPPV in children under two years of age are appropriate.
PMCID: PMC4609896  PMID: 26232540
Pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine; Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine; Nasopharyngeal carriage; Streptococcus pneumoniae; Staphylococcus aureus; Ethnicity
14.  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
15.  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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
PMCID: PMC2974682  PMID: 20969800
16.  The Serotype Distribution among Healthy Carriers before Vaccination Is Essential for Predicting the Impact of Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine on Invasive Disease 
PLoS Computational Biology  2015;11(4):e1004173.
Pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (PCVs) have substantially reduced morbidity and mortality of pneumococcal disease. The impact of the 7-valent PCV on all-serotype invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) among children was reported to vary between high-income countries. We investigate the ability to predict this heterogeneity from pre-vaccination data. We propose a parsimonious model that predicts the impact of PCVs from the odds of vaccine serotype (VT) among carriers and IPD cases in the pre-PCV period, assuming that VT are eliminated in a mature PCV programme, that full serotype replacement occurs in carriage and that invasiveness of the NVT group is unchanged. We test model performance against the reported impact of PCV7 on childhood IPD in high-income countries from a recent meta-analysis. The odds of pre-PCV7 VT IPD, PCV schedule, PCV coverage and whether a catch up campaign was used for introduction was gathered from the same analysis. We conducted a literature review and meta-analysis to obtain the odds of pre-PCV7 VT carriage in the respective settings. The model predicted the reported impact on childhood IPD of mature PCV programmes; the ratio of predicted and observed incidence risk ratios was close to 1 in all settings. In the high income settings studied differences in schedule, coverage, and catch up campaigns were not associated with the observed heterogeneity in impact of PCV7 on childhood all-serotype IPD. The pre-PCV7 proportion of VT IPD alone also had limited predictive value. The pre-PCV7 proportion of VT carriage and IPD are the main determinants for the impact of PCV7 on childhood IPD and can be combined in a simple model to provide predictions of the vaccine preventable burden of IPD.
Author Summary
Pneumococcal vaccines (PCVs) that protect children against 7, 10 and 13 of the most pathogenic pneumococcal serotypes have substantially reduced childhood morbidity and mortality. A recent analysis that evaluated the impact of the 7 valent PCV in multiple high income settings in North America, Europe and Oceania found that the magnitude of all-serotype invasive pneumococcal disease reduction varied greatly between settings (24%-83%). We explored potential sources for that variation, including differences in disease epidemiology before vaccination, vaccine coverage, vaccine schedules and the use of catch-up campaigns for introduction. We find that differences in reported disease impact among mature PCV programmes are likely to be unrelated to the differences in the vaccine programme but can be predicted from a simple model based on pre-vaccination epidemiology, in particular the proportion of vaccine serotypes detected among patients with invasive pneumococcal disease and the proportion of vaccine serotypes that are found in the nasopharynx of healthy individuals. This model presents a useful tool to estimate the potential impact of PCVs (as a relative rate reduction), highlights the essential role of pre-vaccination carriage in healthy individuals for disease impact of PCVs and can estimate the prevented burden of disease where disease surveillance is unavailable.
PMCID: PMC4400047  PMID: 25879748
17.  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.
PMCID: PMC3166350  PMID: 21865175
18.  A Cross-Sectional Observational Study of Pneumococcal Carriage in Children, Their Parents, and Older Adults Following the Introduction of the 7-Valent Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine 
Medicine  2015;94(1):e335.
Supplemental Digital Content is available in the text
Using nasopharyngeal carriage as a marker of vaccine impact, pneumococcal colonization and its relation to invasive disease were examined in children, their parents, and older adults in the United Kingdom following introduction of 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7) and prior to 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13).
A cross-sectional observational study was conducted, collecting nasopharyngeal swabs from children aged 25 to 55 months who had previously received 3 doses of PCV7, their parents, and adults aged ≥65 years. Pneumococcal serotyping was conducted according to World Health Organization guidelines with nontypeable isolates further analyzed by molecular serotyping. A national invasive disease surveillance program was conducted throughout the corresponding period.
Pneumococcus was isolated from 47% of children, 9% of parents, and 2.2% of older adults. For these groups, the percentage of serotypes covered by PCV7 were 1.5%, 0.0%, and 15.4%, with a further 20.1%, 44.4%, and 7.7% coverage added by those in PCV13. In each group, the percentage of disease due to serotypes covered by PCV7 were 1.0%, 7.4% and 5.1% with a further 65.3%, 42.1%, and 61.4% attributed to those in PCV13.
The prevalence of carriage is the highest in children, with direct vaccine impact exemplified by low carriage and disease prevalence of PCV7 serotypes in vaccinated children, whereas the indirect effects of herd protection are implied by similar observations in unvaccinated parents and older adults.
PMCID: PMC4602851  PMID: 25569650
19.  Effectiveness of the 10-Valent Pneumococcal Nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae Protein D–Conjugated Vaccine (PHiD-CV) Against Carriage and Acute Otitis Media—A Double-Blind Randomized Clinical Trial in Finland 
After administering the 10-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae protein D–conjugated vaccine (PHiD-CV) to children aged 2–18 months, we observed a reduction in vaccine-type nasopharyngeal carriage, resulting in a reduction of overall pneumococcal nasopharyngeal carriage, which may be important for indirect vaccine effects. We noted a trend toward reduction of acute otitis media.
This trial ( identifier NCT00839254), nested within a cluster-randomized double-blind invasive pneumococcal disease effectiveness study in Finland ( identifier NCT00861380), assessed the effectiveness of the 10-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae protein D–conjugated vaccine (PHiD-CV or PCV10) against bacterial nasopharyngeal carriage and acute otitis media (AOM).
Infants (aged 6 weeks to 6 months) received the PHiD-CV or a control vaccine (hepatitis B) (schedule 3+1 or 2+1). Nasopharyngeal swabs were collected at 4 time points post-vaccination from all of the infants and at pre-vaccination from a subset. Parent-reported physician-diagnosed AOM was assessed from first vaccination until last contact (mean follow-up, 18 months). Vaccine effectiveness (VE) was derived as (1 – relative risk)*100, accounting for cluster design in AOM analysis. Significant VE was assessed descriptively (positive lower limit of the non-adjusted 95% confidence interval [CI]).
The vaccinated cohort included 5093 infants for carriage assessment and 4117 infants for AOM assessment. Both schedules decreased vaccine-serotype carriage, with a trend toward a lesser effect from the 2+1 schedule ( VE across timpoints 19%–56% [3+1] and 1%–38% [2+1]). Trends toward reduced pneumococcal carriage (predominantly vaccine serotypes 6B, 14, 19F, and 23F), decreased carriage of vaccine-related serotype 19A, and small increases at later time points (ages 14–15 months) in non–vaccine-serotype carriage were observed. No effects on nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae, Staphylococcus aureus, or Moraxella catarrhalis carriage were observed. There were non-significant trends toward a reduction in the number of infants reporting AOM episodes (VE 3+1: 6.1% [95% CI, −2.7% to 14.1%] and 2+1: 7.4% [−2.8% to 16.6%]) and all AOM episodes (VE 3+1: 2.8% [−9.5% to 13.9%] and 2+1: 10.2% [−4.1% to 22.9%]). PHiD-CV was immunogenic and had an acceptable safety profile.
We observed reduced vaccine-type pneumococcal carriage, a limited increase in non–vaccine-type carriage, and a trend toward AOM reduction.
PMCID: PMC5125453  PMID: 27125273
acute otitis media; nasopharyngeal carriage; PHiD-CV; pneumococcal conjugate vaccine; Streptococcus pneumoniae
20.  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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
PMCID: PMC3940522  PMID: 24336057
pneumococcal conjugate vaccine; immunization schedule; nasopharyngeal carriage; nasopharyngeal colonization; systematic review
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 ISRCTN51695599
PMCID: PMC3785494  PMID: 24086259
22.  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
23.  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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
PMCID: PMC3857785  PMID: 24349245
24.  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.
PMCID: PMC3257259  PMID: 22253924
25.  Nasopharyngeal flora in children with acute otitis media before and after implementation of 7 valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine in France 
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.
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.
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).
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.
PMCID: PMC3323894  PMID: 22397629

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