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1.  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
2.  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
3.  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
4.  Opsonophagocytic Activity Following a Reduced Dose 7-valent Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine Infant Primary Series and 23-valent Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Vaccine at 12 Months of Age 
Vaccine  2010;29(3):535-544.
Opsonophagocytic activity (OPA) was measured following reduced infant doses of 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV-7) with or without 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPV-23) at 12 months, and subsequent re-exposure to a small dose of pneumococcal polysaccharide antigens (mPPS) at 17 months. Fijian infants were randomized to receive 0, 1, 2, or 3 PCV-7 doses. Half received PPV-23 at 12 months and all received mPPS at 17 months. OPA was performed on up to 14 serotypes. Three and 2 PCV-7 doses resulted in similar OPA for most PCV-7 serotypes up to 9 months and for half of the serotypes at 12 months. A single dose improved OPA compared with the unvaccinated group. PPV-23 significantly improved OPA for all serotypes tested but in general, was associated with diminished responses following re-challenge.
PMCID: PMC3011050  PMID: 21044669
pneumococcal vaccination; opsonophagocytic activity
5.  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
6.  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
7.  Effect of Pneumococcal Vaccination on Nasopharyngeal Carriage of Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, Moraxella catarrhalis, and Staphylococcus aureus in Fijian Children 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2012;50(3):1034-1038.
The 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7) reduces carriage of vaccine type Streptococcus pneumoniae but leads to replacement by nonvaccine serotypes and may affect carriage of other respiratory pathogens. We investigated nasopharyngeal carriage of S. pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, Moraxella catarrhalis, and Staphylococcus aureus in Fijian infants participating in a pneumococcal vaccine trial using quantitative PCR. Vaccination did not affect pathogen carriage rates or densities, whereas significant differences between the two major ethnic groups were observed.
PMCID: PMC3295152  PMID: 22170924
8.  Pneumococcal nasopharyngeal carriage in children following heptavalent pneumococcal conjugate vaccination in infancy 
Archives of Disease in Childhood  2003;88(3):211-214.
Aims: To ascertain whether the reduction in nasopharyngeal carriage of vaccine serotypes induced by pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PnCV) administered to infants persists beyond the age of 2 years.
Methods: Non-randomised, unblinded controlled study of 2–5 year old children who had received three doses of heptavalent PnCV (7VPnCV) in infancy and 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine at 13 months, and unimmunised controls. Nasopharyngeal swabs were taken in summer (150 vaccinated subjects, 126 controls) and winter (143 vaccinated subjects, 188 controls). The swabs were cultured and serotyped for Streptococcus pneumoniae.
Results: Carriage rates (vaccinated subjects: 24.7% and 43.4%; controls: 27.0% and 41.0%, in summer and winter respectively) and carriage of vaccine serotypes (subjects: 10.0% and 30.0%; controls: 13.5% and 31.5%, in summer and winter respectively) were similar in the two groups.
Conclusions: Effects of vaccination in infancy on rates of nasal carriage of pneumococcus and serotype replacement in children living in a largely unvaccinated population are no longer evident by 2–5 years of age.
PMCID: PMC1719498  PMID: 12598380
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.  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
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.  Nasopharyngeal Pneumococcal Carriage of Children Attending Day Care Centers in Korea: Comparison between Children Immunized with 7-valent Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine and Non-immunized 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2011;26(2):184-190.
To confirm the effect of 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7), pneumococcal nasopharyngeal (NP) carriage was compared between vaccinated (3 + 1 doses PCV7) and non-vaccinated children. Vaccinated subjects were recruited from highly vaccinated regions (≥ 60%), Seoul and Incheon whereas control subjects were recruited from Jeju Island where vaccination rates are low (< 15%). NP swabs were obtained from 400 children aged 18-59 months. Serotype and antibiotic susceptibility was analyzed. Pneumococcal carriage rate was 18.0% (36/200) and 31.5% (63/200) for the vaccinated and control group, respectively. Among those vaccinated, 41.7% (15/36) of the serotypes were vaccine-related type (VRT: 6A, 6C, 19A) with the most common serotype 6C. The next common type was non-typable/non-capsule 30.6% (11/36) followed by non-vaccine type 16.7% (6/36) and vaccine type (VT) serotypes were found in only 11.1% (4/36). In contrast, 52.4% (33/63) of the isolates in the control group were VT. Resistance rates for penicillin and erythromycin were lower in the vaccine group (vaccine vs control; penicillin 45.2% vs 71.4%, erythromycin 74.2% vs 90.5%, P < 0.05). Multi-drug resistance was also lower in vaccinated subjects (vaccine vs control; 45.2% vs 69.8%, P < 0.05). PCV7 reduces carriage in VT which leads to replacement of pneumococci by antibiotic susceptible VRT or non-vaccine type strains.
PMCID: PMC3031000  PMID: 21286007
Streptococcus pneumoniae; Heptavalent Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine; Epidemiology; Child Day Care Centers
13.  Impact of a Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccination Program on Carriage among Children in Norway▿  
In July 2006, the seven-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7) was introduced in Norway with a reduced (2 doses + 1 boost) dose schedule. Post-PCV7 shifts in pneumococcal reservoirs were assessed by two point prevalence studies of nasopharyngeal colonization among children in day care centers, before (2006) and after (2008) widespread use of PCV7. Nasopharyngeal swabs were obtained from 1,213 children, 611 in 2006 and 602 in 2008. A total of 1,102 pneumococcal isolates were recovered. Serotyping, multilocus sequence typing, and antimicrobial drug susceptibility testing were performed on all isolates. Although carriage of PCV7 serotypes decreased among both vaccinated and unvaccinated children, the overall prevalence of pneumococcal carriage remained high (80.4%) after vaccine introduction. The pneumococcal populations were diverse, and in the shift toward non-PCV7 serotypes, expansion of a limited number of established clonal complexes was observed. While non-antimicrobial-susceptible clones persisted among PCV7 serotypes, antimicrobial resistance did not increase among non-PCV7 serotypes. Direct and indirect protection of PCV7 against nasopharyngeal colonization was inferred from an overall decrease in carriage of PCV7 serotypes. No preference was found for nonsusceptible clones among the replacing non-PCV7 serotypes.
PMCID: PMC2837970  PMID: 20107006
14.  Salivary Immune Responses to the 7-Valent Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine in the First 2 Years of Life 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(10):e46916.
The CRM197-conjugated 7-valent pneumococcal vaccine (PCV7) is protective against vaccine serotype disease and nasopharyngeal carriage. Data on PCV7-induced mucosal antibodies in relation to systemic or natural anticapsular antibodies are scarce.
In a randomized controlled setting, children received PCV7 at age 2 and 4 months (2-dose group), at age 2, 4 and 11 months (2+1-dose group) or no PCV7 (control group). From 188 children paired saliva samples were collected at 12 and 24 months of age. From a subgroup of 15 immunized children also serum samples were collected. IgG and IgA antibody-levels were measured by multiplex immunoassay.
At 12 months, both vaccine groups showed higher serum and saliva IgG-levels against vaccine serotypes compared with controls which sustained until 24 months for most serotypes. Salivary IgG-levels were 10–20-fold lower compared to serum IgG, however, serum and saliva IgG-levels were highly correlated. Serum and salivary IgA-levels were higher in both vaccine groups at 12 months compared with controls, except for serotype 19F. Higher salivary IgA levels remained present for most serotypes in the 2+1-dose group until 24 months, but not in the 2-dose group. Salivary IgA more than IgG, increased after documented carriage of serotypes 6B, 19F and 23F In contrast to IgG, salivary IgA-levels were comparable with serum, suggesting local IgA-production.
PCV7 vaccination results in significant increases in salivary IgG and IgA-levels, which are more pronounced for IgG when compared to controls. In contrast, salivary anticapsular IgA-levels seemed to respond more to natural boosting. Salivary IgG and IgA-levels correlate well with systemic antibodies, suggesting saliva might be useful as potential future surveillance tool.
PMCID: PMC3473066  PMID: 23077532
15.  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
16.  Serum Opsonic Activity in Infants with Sickle-Cell Disease Immunized with Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Protein Conjugate Vaccine 
Pneumococcal infections are an important cause of morbidity and mortality in children with sickle-cell disease (SCD). Pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (PCVs) are immunogenic in healthy infants <2 years of age but have not been evaluated in young children with SCD. Infants with SCD were immunized with a 7-valent PCV (Wyeth-Lederle Vaccines & Pediatrics) at 2, 4, and 6 months of age. A booster dose of 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPV; Pnu-Immune) was administered at 24 months of age. Antipneumococcal type 6B and 14 serum opsonic activity was measured to assess the biologic function of the antibody. Following the administration of three doses of PCV, opsonic activity against serotype 6B increased from 4.8% at 2 months to 33.5% at 7 months, with a subsequent decline to 8.1% at 12 months and 7.5% at 24 months and with an increase to 30.7% at 25 months after administration of a booster dose of PPV. Similar trends were seen with serotype 14 (opsonic activities were 9.4% at 2 months, 24.9% at 7 months, 16.5% at 12 months, and 12.6% at 24 months, and the opsonic activity was 27.3% 1 month after the administration of PPV). Serum opsonic activity correlated with antibody levels for both serotypes. PCV induces serum opsonic activity in infants with SCD. Antipneumococcal serum opsonic activity correlates with antibody levels.
PMCID: PMC95957  PMID: 10973456
17.  Safety and Immunogenicity of the 23-Valent Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Vaccine at 12 months of age, following One, Two, or Threes Doses of the 7-valent Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine in Infancy 
Vaccine  2010;28(18):3086-3094.
Fijian infants aged 6 weeks were stratified by ethnicity and randomized to receive 0, 1, 2, or 3 PCV-7 doses with or without the 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPV-23) at 12 months. Strong booster effects for all 7 PCV-7 serotypes were elicited, and for 4/7 serotypes these responses were highest in the single PCV-7 group. There were fourfold rises in GMC for all non-PCV-7 serotypes. By 17 months the PPV-23 group still had significantly higher GMC (each p<0.001) for all serotypes. The PPV-23 was well tolerated and induced excellent responses for all serotypes which were greatest in the single PCV-7 group.
PMCID: PMC2857918  PMID: 20199764
Pneumococcal; polysaccharide; booster
18.  Multiple Colonization with S. pneumoniae before and after Introduction of the Seven-Valent Conjugated Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Vaccine 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(7):e11638.
Simultaneous carriage of more than one strain of Streptococcus pneumoniae promotes horizontal gene transfer events and may lead to capsule switch and acquisition of antibiotic resistance. We studied the epidemiology of cocolonization with S. pneumoniae before and after introduction of the seven-valent conjugated pneumococcal vaccine (PCV7).
Nasopharyngeal swabs (n 1120) were collected from outpatients between 2004 and 2009 within an ongoing nationwide surveillance program. Cocolonization was detected directly from swabs by restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis. Serotypes were identified by agglutination, multiplex PCR and microarray.
Principal Findings
Rate of multiple colonization remained stable up to three years after PCV7 introduction. Cocolonization was associated with serotypes of low carriage prevalence in the prevaccine era. Pneumococcal colonization density was higher in cocolonized samples and cocolonizing strains were present in a balanced ratio (median 1.38). Other characteristics of cocolonization were a higher frequency at young age, but no association with recurrent acute otitis media, recent antibiotic exposure, day care usage and PCV7 vaccination status.
Pneumococcal cocolonization is dominated by serotypes of low carriage prevalence in the prevaccine era, which coexist in the nasopharynx. Emergence of such previously rare serotypes under vaccine selection pressure may promote cocolonization in the future.
PMCID: PMC2905437  PMID: 20661289
19.  Pneumococcal Serotype-Specific Antibodies Persist through Early Childhood after Infant Immunization: Follow-Up from a Randomized Controlled Trial 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(3):e91413.
In a previous UK multi-center randomized study 278 children received three doses of 7-valent (PCV-7) or 13-valent (PCV-13) pneumococcal conjugate vaccine at 2, 4 and 12 months of age. At 13 months of age, most of these children had pneumococcal serotype-specific IgG concentrations ≥0.35 µg/ml and opsonophagocytic assay (OPA) titers ≥8.
Children who had participated in the original study were enrolled again at 3.5 years of age. Persistence of immunity following infant immunization with either PCV-7 or PCV-13 and the immune response to a PCV-13 booster at pre-school age were investigated.
In total, 108 children were followed-up to the age of 3.5 years and received a PCV-13 booster at this age. At least 76% of children who received PCV-7 or PCV-13 in infancy retained serotype-specific IgG concentrations ≥0.35 µg/ml against each of 5/7 shared serotypes. For serotypes 4 and 18C, persistence was lower at 22–42%. At least 71% of PCV-13 group participants had IgG concentrations ≥0.35 µg/ml against each of 4/6 of the additional PCV-13 serotypes; for serotypes 1 and 3 this proportion was 45% and 52%. In the PCV-7 group these percentages were significantly lower for serotypes 1, 5 and 7F. A pre-school PCV-13 booster was highly immunogenic and resulted in low rates of local and systemic adverse effects.
Despite some decline in antibody from 13 months of age, these data suggest that a majority of pre-school children maintain protective serotype-specific antibody concentrations following conjugate vaccination at 2, 4 and 12 months of age.
Trial Registration NCT01095471
PMCID: PMC3950188  PMID: 24618837
20.  Priming of Immunological Memory by Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine in Children Unresponsive to 23-Valent Polysaccharide Pneumococcal Vaccine 
Pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPV) is of limited immunogenicity in infants and immunocompromised patients. Our prospective randomized controlled trial investigated whether priming with pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) induced specific immunological memory in previously nonresponders to PPV. Of a total of 33 children (2 to 18 years) with polysaccharide-specific immunodeficiency (PSI), group A (n = 16) received two doses of 7-valent PCV in a 4- to 6-week interval, and a booster dose of 23-valent PPV after one year. Group B (n = 17) received two doses of PPV in a 1-year interval exclusively. Specific antibody concentrations for serotypes 4, 5, 6B, 9V, 14, 18C, 19F, and 23F were determined (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) before and at 7 and 28 days after administration of the PPV booster and compared to an opsonophagocytosis assay. Of group A, 64 to 100% had antibody concentrations of ≥1 μg/ml on day 28 after the booster versus 25 to 94% of group B. Group A had significantly higher antibody concentrations for all PCV-containing serotypes already on day 7, indicating early memory response. Antibody concentrations were in accordance with functional opsonic activity, although opsonic titers varied among individuals. Pneumococcal vaccination was well tolerated. The incidence of airway infections was reduced after priming with PCV (10/year for group A versus 15/year for group B). Following a PPV booster, even patients primarily not responding to PPV showed a rapid and more pronounced memory response after priming with PCV.
PMCID: PMC1247826  PMID: 16210486
21.  Carriage of Streptococcus pneumoniae 3 Years after Start of Vaccination Program, the Netherlands 
Emerging Infectious Diseases  2011;17(4):584-591.
To evaluate the effectiveness of the 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7) program, we conducted a cross-sectional observational study on nasopharyngeal carriage of Streptococcus pneumoniae 3 years after implementation of the program in the Netherlands. We compared pneumococcal serotypes in 329 prebooster 11-month-old children, 330 fully vaccinated 24-month-old children, and 324 parents with age-matched pre-PCV7 (unvaccinated) controls (ages 12 and 24 months, n = 319 and n = 321, respectively) and 296 of their parents. PCV7 serotype prevalences before and after PCV7 implementation, respectively, were 38% and 8% among 11-month-old children, 36% and 4% among 24-month-old children, and 8% and 1% among parents. Non-PCV7 serotype prevalences were 29% and 39% among 11-month-old children, 30% and 45% among 24-month-old children, and 8% and 15% among parents, respectively; serotypes 11A and 19A were most frequently isolated. PCV7 serotypes were largely replaced by non-PCV7 serotypes. Disappearance of PCV7 serotypes in parents suggests strong transmission reduction through vaccination.
PMCID: PMC3377405  PMID: 21470445
Streptococcus pneumoniae; nasopharyngeal colonization; heptavalent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine; infectious disease transmission; herd immunity; parents; infants; bacteria; research
22.  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
23.  Risk factors for serotype 19A carriage after introduction of 7-valent pneumococcal vaccination 
After the implementation of 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7), in several countries, serotype 19A is now the serotype most frequently involved in pneumococcal diseases and carriage. To determine factors potentially related to 19A nasopharyngeal (NP) carriage we analyzed data from an ongoing prospective French national surveillance study of pneumococcal NP carriage in young children.
NP swabs were obtained from children aged 6 to 24 months, either during routine check-ups with normal findings, or when they presented with acute otitis media (AOM). The swabs were sent for analysis to the French National Reference Centre for Pneumococci. Factors influencing pneumococcal carriage and carriage of penicillin non-susceptible (PNSP), 19A and PNS-19A were investigated by multivariate logistic regression.
From 2006 to 2009, 66 practitioners enrolled 3507 children (mean age 13.6 months), of whom, 98.3% of children had been vaccinated with PCV7 and 33.4% of children attended daycare centres (DCC). Serotype 19A was found in 10.4% of the overall population, 20.5% of S. pneumoniae carriers (n = 1780) and 40.8% of PNSP carriers (n = 799). Among 19A strains, 10.7% were penicillin-susceptible, 80% intermediate and 9.3% fully resistant. Logistic regression analysis showed that the main factors associated with PNSP carriage were AOM (OR = 3.09, 95% CI [2.39;3.98]), DCC (OR = 1.70, 95% CI [1.42;2.03]), and recent antibiotic use (OR = 1.24, 95% CI [1.05;1.47]. The main factors predictive of 19A carriage were recent antibiotic use (OR = 1.81, 95% CI [1.42;2.30]), AOM (OR = 1.67, 95% CI [1.11;2.49]), DCC (OR = 1.56, 95% CI [1.21;2.2] and young age, <12 months (OR = 1.51, 95% CI [1.16;1.97]).
In a population of children aged from 6 to 24 months with a high rate of PCV7 vaccination coverage, we found that antibiotic exposure, DCC attendance and AOM were linked to 19A carriage.
PMCID: PMC3101155  PMID: 21501471
24.  Systematic Review of the Indirect Effect of Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine Dosing Schedules on Pneumococcal Disease and Colonization 
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):S161-S171.
To aid decision making for pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) use in infant national immunization programs, we summarized the indirect effects of PCV on clinical outcomes among nontargeted age groups.
We systematically reviewed the English literature on infant PCV dosing schedules published from 1994 to 2010 (with ad hoc addition of 2011 articles) for outcomes on children >5 years of age and adults including vaccine-type nasopharyngeal carriage (VT-NP), vaccine-type invasive pneumococcal disease (VT-IPD) and syndromic pneumonia.
Of 12,980 citations reviewed, we identified 21 VT-IPD, 6 VT-NP and 9 pneumonia studies. Of these 36, 21 (58%) included 3 primary doses plus PCV or pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPV23) booster schedule (3+1 or 3+PPV23), 5 (14%) 3+0, 9 (25%) 2+1 and 1 (3%) 2+0. Most (95%) were PCV7 studies. Among observational VT-IPD studies, all schedules (2+1, 3+0 and 3+1) demonstrated reductions in incidence among young adult groups. Among syndromic pneumonia observational studies (2+1, 3+0 and 3+1), only 3+1 schedules showed significant indirect impact. Of 2 VT-NP controlled trials (3+0 and 3+1) and 3 VT-NP observational studies (2+1, 3+1 and 3+PPV23), 3+1 and 3+PPV23 schedules showed significant indirect effect. The 1 study to directly compare between schedules was a VT-NP study (2+0 vs. 2+1), which found no indirect effect on older siblings and parents of vaccinated children with either schedule.
Indirect benefit of a 3+1 infant PCV dosing schedule has been demonstrated for VT-IPD, VT-NP and syndromic pneumonia; 2+1 and 3+0 schedules have demonstrated indirect effect only for VT-IPD. The choice of optimal infant PCV schedule is limited by data paucity on indirect effects, especially a lack of head-to-head studies and studies of PCV10 and PCV13.
PMCID: PMC3940524  PMID: 24336058
pneumococcal conjugate vaccine; nasopharyngeal carriage; pneumonia; pneumococcal disease; indirect effects
25.  Virulence of Streptococcus pneumoniae serotype 6C in experimental otitis media 
Increases in colonization with serotypes of Streptococcus pneumoniae not contained within the 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) have been reported among children following introduction. Serotype 6C has emerged as prevalent in nasopharyngeal colonization and acute otitis media (AOM), though it is uncommonly recovered from children with invasive pneumococcal disease. Vaccine serotypes within PCV7 have been replaced by nonvaccine serotypes without significant changes in the overall carriage rate. We hypothesize 1) that serotypes vary in their ability to evade host defenses and establish AOM following colonization and 2) the observed reduction in pneumococcal otitis results from a reduced disease potential by some ‘replacement serotypes’. We compared the capacity of S. pneumoniae serotypes 6C and 19A to produce experimental otitis media (EOM) in a chinchilla model. The proportion of chinchillas that developed culture positive EOM and density of middle ear infection was evaluated. EOM was found in 28/82 (34%) ears challenged with 6C compared to 13/18(72.2%) with 19A [p=0.0003]. When disease due to 6C did occur, it was characterized by lowdensity infection. Our findings demonstrate that challenge with serotype 6C results in EOM less frequently than 19A. These data support the need for greater knowledge regarding differences among serotypes to produce AOM.
PMCID: PMC3382049  PMID: 22414497
Streptococcus pneumoniae; complement; virulence

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