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1.  Serotype-Specific Changes in Invasive Pneumococcal Disease after Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine Introduction: A Pooled Analysis of Multiple Surveillance Sites 
PLoS Medicine  2013;10(9):e1001517.
In a pooled analysis of data collected from invasive pneumococcal disease surveillance databases, Daniel Feikin and colleagues examine serotype replacement after the introduction of 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7) into national immunization programs.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Background
Vaccine-serotype (VT) invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) rates declined substantially following introduction of 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7) into national immunization programs. Increases in non-vaccine-serotype (NVT) IPD rates occurred in some sites, presumably representing serotype replacement. We used a standardized approach to describe serotype-specific IPD changes among multiple sites after PCV7 introduction.
Methods and Findings
Of 32 IPD surveillance datasets received, we identified 21 eligible databases with rate data ≥2 years before and ≥1 year after PCV7 introduction. Expected annual rates of IPD absent PCV7 introduction were estimated by extrapolation using either Poisson regression modeling of pre-PCV7 rates or averaging pre-PCV7 rates. To estimate whether changes in rates had occurred following PCV7 introduction, we calculated site specific rate ratios by dividing observed by expected IPD rates for each post-PCV7 year. We calculated summary rate ratios (RRs) using random effects meta-analysis. For children <5 years old, overall IPD decreased by year 1 post-PCV7 (RR 0·55, 95% CI 0·46–0·65) and remained relatively stable through year 7 (RR 0·49, 95% CI 0·35–0·68). Point estimates for VT IPD decreased annually through year 7 (RR 0·03, 95% CI 0·01–0·10), while NVT IPD increased (year 7 RR 2·81, 95% CI 2·12–3·71). Among adults, decreases in overall IPD also occurred but were smaller and more variable by site than among children. At year 7 after introduction, significant reductions were observed (18–49 year-olds [RR 0·52, 95% CI 0·29–0·91], 50–64 year-olds [RR 0·84, 95% CI 0·77–0·93], and ≥65 year-olds [RR 0·74, 95% CI 0·58–0·95]).
Conclusions
Consistent and significant decreases in both overall and VT IPD in children occurred quickly and were sustained for 7 years after PCV7 introduction, supporting use of PCVs. Increases in NVT IPD occurred in most sites, with variable magnitude. These findings may not represent the experience in low-income countries or the effects after introduction of higher valency PCVs. High-quality, population-based surveillance of serotype-specific IPD rates is needed to monitor vaccine impact as more countries, including low-income countries, introduce PCVs and as higher valency PCVs are used.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors’ Summary
Background
Pneumococcal disease–a major cause of illness and death in children and adults worldwide–is caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae, a bacterium that often colonizes the nose and throat harmlessly. Unfortunately, S. pneumoniae occasionally spreads into the lungs, bloodstream, or covering of the brain, where it causes pneumonia, septicemia, and meningitis, respectively. These invasive pneumococcal diseases (IPDs) can usually be successfully treated with antibiotics but can be fatal. Consequently, it is better to avoid infection through vaccination. Vaccination primes the immune system to recognize and attack disease-causing organisms (pathogens) rapidly and effectively by exposing it to weakened or dead pathogens or to pathogen molecules that it recognizes as foreign (antigens). Because there are more than 90 S. pneumoniae variants or “serotypes,” each characterized by a different antigenic polysaccharide (complex sugar) coat, vaccines that protect against S. pneumoniae have to include multiple serotypes. Thus, the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine PCV7, which was introduced into the US infant immunization regimen in 2000, contains polysaccharides from the seven S. pneumoniae serotypes mainly responsible for IPD in the US at that time.
Why Was This Study Done?
Vaccination with PCV7 was subsequently introduced in several other high- and middle-income countries, and IPD caused by the serotypes included in the vaccine declined substantially in children and in adults (because of reduced bacterial transmission and herd protection) in the US and virtually all these countries. However, increases in IPD caused by non-vaccine serotypes occurred in some settings, presumably because of “serotype replacement.” PCV7 prevents both IPD caused by the serotypes it contains and carriage of these serotypes. Consequently, after vaccination, previously less common, non-vaccine serotypes can colonize the nose and throat, some of which can cause IPD. In July 2010, a World Health Organization expert consultation on serotype replacement called for a comprehensive analysis of the magnitude and variability of pneumococcal serotype replacement following PCV7 use to help guide the introduction of PCVs in low-income countries, where most pneumococcal deaths occur. In this pooled analysis of data from multiple surveillance sites, the researchers investigate serotype-specific changes in IPD after PCV7 introduction using a standardized approach.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers identified 21 databases that had data about the rate of IPD for at least 2 years before and 1 year after PCV7 introduction. They estimated whether changes in IPD rates had occurred after PCV7 introduction by calculating site-specific rate ratios–the observed IPD rate for each post-PCV7 year divided by the expected IPD rate in the absence of PCV7 extrapolated from the pre-PCV7 rate. Finally, they used a statistical approach (random effects meta-analysis) to estimate summary (pooled) rate ratios. For children under 5 years old, the overall number of observed cases of IPD in the first year after the introduction of PCV7 was about half the expected number; this reduction in IPD continued through year 7 after PCV7 introduction. Notably, the rate of IPD caused by the S. pneumonia serotypes in PCV7 decreased every year, but the rate of IPD caused by non-vaccine serotypes increased annually. By year 7, the number of cases of IPD caused by non-vaccine serotypes was 3-fold higher than expected, but was still smaller than the decrease in vaccine serotypes, thereby leading to the decrease in overall IPD. Finally, smaller decreases in overall IPD also occurred among adults but occurred later than in children 2 years or more after PCV7 introduction.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings show that consistent, rapid, and sustained decreases in overall IPD and in IPD caused by serotypes included in PCV7 occurred in children and thus support the use of PCVs. The small increases in IPD caused by non-vaccine serotypes that these findings reveal are likely to be the result of serotype replacement, but changes in antibiotic use and other factors may also be involved. These findings have several important limitations, however. For example, PCV7 is no longer made and extrapolation of these results to newer PCV10 and PCV13 formulations should be done cautiously. On the other hand, many of the serotypes causing serotype replacement after PCV7 are included in these higher valency vaccines. Moreover, because the data analyzed in this study mainly came from high-income countries, these findings may not be generalizable to low-income countries. Nevertheless, based on their analysis, the researchers make recommendations for the collection and analysis of IPD surveillance data that should allow valid interpretations of the effect of PCVs on IPD to be made, an important requisite for making sound policy decisions about vaccination against pneumococcal disease.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001517.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides information for patients and health professionals on all aspects of pneumococcal disease and pneumococcal vaccination, including personal stories
Public Health England provides information on pneumococcal disease and on pneumococcal vaccines
The World Health Organization also provides information on pneumococcal vaccines
The not-for-profit Immunization Action Coalition has information on pneumococcal disease, including personal stories
MedlinePlus has links to further information about pneumococcal infections (in English and Spanish)
The International Vaccine Access Center at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health has more information on introduction of pneumococcal conjugate vaccines in low-income countries
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001517
PMCID: PMC3782411  PMID: 24086113
2.  Effect of Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccination on Serotype-Specific Carriage and Invasive Disease in England: A Cross-Sectional Study 
PLoS Medicine  2011;8(4):e1001017.
A cross sectional study by Stefan Flasche and coworkers document the serotype replacement of Streptococcus pneumoniae that has occurred in England since the introduction of PCV7 vaccination.
Background
We investigated the effect of the 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7) programme in England on serotype-specific carriage and invasive disease to help understand its role in serotype replacement and predict the impact of higher valency vaccines.
Methods and Findings
Nasopharyngeal swabs were taken from children <5 y old and family members (n = 400) 2 y after introduction of PCV7 into routine immunization programs. Proportions carrying Streptococcus pneumoniae and serotype distribution among carried isolates were compared with a similar population prior to PCV7 introduction. Serotype-specific case∶carrier ratios (CCRs) were estimated using national data on invasive disease. In vaccinated children and their contacts vaccine-type (VT) carriage decreased, but was offset by an increase in non-VT carriage, with no significant overall change in carriage prevalence, odds ratio 1.06 (95% confidence interval 0.76–1.49). The lower CCRs of the replacing serotypes resulted in a net reduction in invasive disease in children. The additional serotypes covered by higher valency vaccines had low carriage but high disease prevalence. Serotype 11C emerged as predominant in carriage but caused no invasive disease whereas 8, 12F, and 22F emerged in disease but had very low carriage prevalence.
Conclusion
Because the additional serotypes included in PCV10/13 have high CCRs but low carriage prevalence, vaccinating against them is likely to significantly reduce invasive disease with less risk of serotype replacement. However, a few serotypes with high CCRs could mitigate the benefits of higher valency vaccines. Assessment of the effect of PCV on carriage as well as invasive disease should be part of enhanced surveillance activities for PCVs.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Pneumococcal diseases—major causes of illness and death in children and adults worldwide—are caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae, a bacterium that often colonizes the nasopharynx (the area of the throat behind the nose). Carriage of S. pneumoniae bacteria does not necessarily cause disease. However, these bacteria can cause local, noninvasive diseases such as ear infections and sinusitis and, more rarely, they can spread into the lungs, the bloodstream, or the covering of the brain, where they cause pneumonia, septicemia, and meningitis, respectively. Although these invasive pneumococcal diseases (IPDs) can be successfully treated if administered early, they can be fatal. Consequently, it is better to protect people against IPDs through vaccination than risk infection. Vaccination primes the immune system to recognize and attack disease-causing organisms (pathogens) rapidly and effectively by exposing it to weakened or dead pathogens or to pathogen molecules (antigens) that it recognizes as foreign.
Why Was This Study Done?
There are more than 90 S. pneumoniae variants or “serotypes” characterized by different polysaccharide (complex sugar) coats, which trigger the immune response against S. pneumoniae and determine each serotype's propensity to cause IPD. The pneumococcal conjugate vaccine PCV7 contains polysaccharides (linked to a protein carrier) from the seven serotypes mainly responsible for IPD in the US in 2000 when routine childhood PCV7 vaccination was introduced in that country. PCV7 prevents both IPD caused by the serotypes it contains and carriage of these serotypes, which means that, after vaccination, previously uncommon, nonvaccine serotypes can colonize the nasopharynx. If these serotypes have a high invasiveness potential, then “serotype replacement” could reduce the benefits of vaccination. In this cross-sectional study (a study that investigates the relationship between a disease and an intervention in a population at one time point), the researchers investigate the effect of the UK PCV7 vaccination program (which began in 2006) on serotype-specific carriage and IPD in England to understand the role of PCV7 in serotype replacement and to predict the likely impact of vaccines containing additional serotypes (higher valency vaccines).
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers examined nasopharyngeal swabs taken from PCV7-vaccinated children and their families for S. pneumoniae, determined the serotype of any bacteria they found, and compared the proportion of people carrying S. pneumoniae (carrier prevalence) and the distribution of serotypes in this study population and in a similar population that was studied in 2000/2001, before the PCV vaccination program began. Overall, there was no statistically significant change in carrier prevalence, but carriage of vaccine serotypes decreased in vaccinated children and their contacts whereas carriage of nonvaccine serotypes increased. The serotype-specific case-to-carrier ratios (CCRs; a measure of serotype invasiveness that was estimated using national IPD data) of the replacing serotypes were generally lower than those of the original serotypes, which resulted in a net reduction in IPD in children. Moreover, before PCV7 vaccination began, PCV7-included serotypes were responsible for similar proportions of pneumococcal carriage and disease; afterwards, the additional serotypes present in the higher valency vaccines PVC10 and PVC13 were responsible for a higher proportion of disease than carriage. Finally, three serotypes not present in the higher valency vaccines with outstandingly high CCRs (high invasiveness potential) are identified.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings document the serotype replacement of S. pneumoniae that has occurred in England since the introduction of PCV7 vaccination and highlight the importance of assessing the effects of pneumococcal vaccines on carriage as well as on IPDs. Because the additional serotypes included in PCV10 and PCV13 have high CCRs but low carriage prevalence and because most of the potential replacement serotypes have low CCRs, these findings suggest that the introduction of higher valency vaccines should further reduce the occurrence of invasive disease with limited risk of additional serotype replacement. However, the emergence of a few serotypes that have high CCRs but are not included in PCV10 and PCV13 might mitigate the benefits of higher valency vaccines. In other words, although the recent introduction of PCV13 into UK vaccination schedules is likely to have an incremental benefit on the reduction of IPD compared to PCV7, this benefit might be offset by increases in the carriage of some high CCR serotypes. These serotypes should be considered for inclusion in future vaccines.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001017.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides information for patients and health professionals on all aspects of pneumococcal disease and pneumococcal vaccination
The US National Foundation for Infectious Diseases has a fact sheet on pneumococcal diseases
The UK Health Protection Agency provides information on pneumococcal disease and on pneumococcal vaccines
The World Health Organization also provides information on pneumococcal vaccines
MedlinePlus has links to further information about pneumococcal infections (in English and Spanish)
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001017
PMCID: PMC3071372  PMID: 21483718
3.  Effects of Community-Wide Vaccination with PCV-7 on Pneumococcal Nasopharyngeal Carriage in The Gambia: A Cluster-Randomized Trial 
PLoS Medicine  2011;8(10):e1001107.
In a cluster-randomized trial conducted in Gambian villages, Anna Roca and colleagues find that vaccination of children with pneumococcal conjugate vaccines reduced vaccine-type pneumococcal carriage even among nonvaccinated older children and adults.
Background
Introduction of pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (PCVs) of limited valency is justified in Africa by the high burden of pneumococcal disease. Long-term beneficial effects of PCVs may be countered by serotype replacement. We aimed to determine the impact of PCV-7 vaccination on pneumococcal carriage in rural Gambia.
Methods and Findings
A cluster-randomized (by village) trial of the impact of PCV-7 on pneumococcal nasopharyngeal carriage was conducted in 21 Gambian villages between December 2003 to June 2008 (5,441 inhabitants in 2006). Analysis was complemented with data obtained before vaccination. Because efficacy of PCV-9 in young Gambian children had been shown, it was considered unethical not to give PCV-7 to young children in all of the study villages. PCV-7 was given to children below 30 mo of age and to those born during the trial in all study villages. Villages were randomized (older children and adults) to receive one dose of PCV-7 (11 vaccinated villages) or meningococcal serogroup C conjugate vaccine (10 control villages). Cross-sectional surveys (CSSs) to collect nasopharyngeal swabs were conducted before vaccination (2,094 samples in the baseline CSS), and 4–6, 12, and 22 mo after vaccination (1,168, 1,210, and 446 samples in CSS-1, -2, and -3, respectively).
A time trend analysis showed a marked fall in the prevalence of vaccine-type pneumococcal carriage in all age groups following vaccination (from 23.7% and 26.8% in the baseline CSS to 7.1% and 8.5% in CSS-1, in vaccinated and control villages, respectively). The prevalence of vaccine-type pneumococcal carriage was lower in vaccinated than in control villages among older children (5 y to <15 y of age) and adults (≥15 y of age) at CSS-2 (odds ratio [OR] = 0.15 [95% CI 0.04–0.57] and OR = 0.32 [95% CI 0.10–0.98], respectively) and at CSS-3 (OR = 0.37 [95% CI 0.15–0.90] for older children, and 0% versus 7.6% for adults in vaccinated and control villages, respectively). Differences in the prevalence of non-vaccine-type pneumococcal carriage between vaccinated and control villages were small.
Conclusions
Vaccination of Gambian children reduced vaccine-type pneumococcal carriage across all age groups, indicating a “herd effect” in non-vaccinated older children and adults. No significant serotype replacement was detected.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
The prevention of pneumococcal disease, especially in children in developing countries, is a major international public health priority. Despite all the international attention on the UN's Millennium Development Goal 4—to reduce deaths in children under five years by two-thirds between 1990 and 2015—pneumonia, sepsis, and meningitis together compose more than 25% of the 10 million deaths occurring in children less than five years of age. Streptococcus pneumoniae is a leading bacterial cause of these diseases, and the World Health Organization estimates that approximately 800,000 children die each year of invasive pneumococcal disease.
Pneumococcal conjugate vaccines are currently available and protect against the serotypes that most commonly cause invasive pneumococcal disease in young children in North America and Europe. Such vaccines have been highly successful in reducing the incidence of invasive pneumococcal disease in both vaccinated children and in the non-vaccinated older population by reducing nasopharyngeal carriage (presence of pneumococcal bacteria in the back of the nose) in vaccinated infants, resulting in decreased transmission to contacts—the so-called herd effect. However, few countries with the highest burden of invasive pneumococcal disease, especially those in sub-Saharan Africa, have introduced the vaccine into their national immunization programs.
Why Was This Study Done?
The features of pneumococcal nasopharyngeal carriage and invasive pneumococcal disease in sub-Saharan Africa are different than in other regions. Therefore, careful evaluation of the immune effects of vaccination requires long-term, longitudinal studies. As an alternative to such long-term observational studies, and to anticipate the potential long-term effects of the introduction of pneumococcal conjugate vaccination in sub-Saharan Africa, the researchers conducted a cluster-randomized (by village) trial in The Gambia in which the whole populations of some villages were immunized with the vaccine PCV-7, and other villages received a control.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
With full consent from communities, the researchers randomized 21 similar villages in a rural region of western Gambia to receive pneumococcal conjugate vaccine or a control—meningococcal serogroup C conjugated vaccine, which is unlikely to affect pneumococcal carriage rates. For ethical reasons, the researchers only randomized residents aged over 30 months—all young infants received PCV-7, as a similar vaccine had already been shown to be effective in young infants. Before immunization began, the researchers took nasopharyngeal swabs from a random selection of village residents to determine the baseline pneumococcal carriage rates of both the serotypes of pneumococci covered by the vaccine (vaccine types, VTs) and the serotypes of pneumococci not covered in the vaccine (non-vaccine types, NVTs). The researchers then took nasopharyngeal swabs from a random sample of 1,200 of village residents in both groups of villages in cross-sectional surveys at 4–6, 12, and 22 months after vaccination. Villagers and laboratory staff were unaware of which vaccine was which (that is, they were blinded).
Before immunization, the overall prevalence of pneumococcal carriage in both groups was high, at 71.1%, and decreased with age. After vaccination, the overall prevalence of pneumococcal carriage in all three surveys was similar between vaccinated and control villages, showing a marked fall. However, the prevalence of carriage of VT pneumococci was significantly lower in vaccinated than in control villages in all surveys for all age groups. The prevalence of carriage of NVT pneumococci was similar in vaccinated and in control villages, except for a slightly higher prevalence of NVT pneumococci among vaccinated communities in adults at 4–6 months after vaccination. The researchers also found that the overall prevalence of pneumococcal carriage fell markedly after vaccination and reached minimum levels at 12 months in both study arms and in all age groups.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings show that vaccination of young Gambian children reduced carriage of VT pneumococci in vaccinated children but also in vaccinated and non-vaccinated older children and adults, revealing a potential herd effect from vaccination of young children. Furthermore, the immunological pressure induced by vaccinating whole communities did not lead to a community-wide increase in carriage of NVT pneumococci during a two-year period after vaccination. The researchers plan to conduct more long-term follow-up studies to determine nasopharyngeal carriage in these communities.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001107.
The World Health Organization has information about pneumococcus
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides information about pneumococcal conjugate vaccination
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001107
PMCID: PMC3196470  PMID: 22028630
4.  Systematic Evaluation of Serotypes Causing Invasive Pneumococcal Disease among Children Under Five: The Pneumococcal Global Serotype Project 
PLoS Medicine  2010;7(10):e1000348.
Hope Johnson and colleagues calculate the global and regional burden of serotype-specific pneumococcal disease in children under the age of five.
Background
Approximately 800,000 children die each year due to pneumococcal disease and >90% of these deaths occur in developing countries where few children have access to life-saving serotype-based vaccines. Understanding the serotype epidemiology of invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) among children is necessary for vaccine development and introduction policies. The aim of this study was to systematically estimate the global and regional distributions of serotypes causing IPD in children <5 years of age.
Methods and Findings
We systematically reviewed studies with IPD serotype data among children <5 years of age from the published literature and unpublished data provided by researchers. Studies conducted prior to pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) introduction, from 1980 to 2007, with ≥12 months of surveillance, and reporting ≥20 serotyped isolates were included. Serotype-specific proportions were pooled in a random effects meta-analysis and combined with PD incidence and mortality estimates to infer global and regional serotype-specific PD burden. Of 1,292, studies reviewed, 169 were included comprising 60,090 isolates from 70 countries. Globally and regionally, six to 11 serotypes accounted for ≥70% of IPD. Seven serotypes (1, 5, 6A, 6B, 14, 19F, 23F) were the most common globally; and based on year 2000 incidence and mortality estimates these seven serotypes accounted for >300,000 deaths in Africa and 200,000 deaths in Asia. Serotypes included in both the 10- and 13-valent PCVs accounted for 10 million cases and 600,000 deaths worldwide.
Conclusions
A limited number of serotypes cause most IPD worldwide. The serotypes included in existing PCV formulations account for 49%–88% of deaths in Africa and Asia where PD morbidity and mortality are the highest, but few children have access to these life-saving vaccines.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Despite all the international attention on Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 4—to reduce deaths in children under 5 years by two thirds by 2015—pneumonia, sepsis, and meningitis together comprise >25% of the 10 million deaths occurring annually in children <5 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. Three pneumococcal conjugate vaccines are currently available and protect against the serotypes most commonly causing invasive pneumococcal disease in young children in North America. However, few countries with the highest burden of invasive pneumococcal disease have introduced the vaccines into their national immunization programs. Not only is it important to introduce a vaccine, but also to use a vaccine covering the appropriate serotypes prevalent in a susceptible region.
Why Was This Study Done?
Over the past few years, data on serotyping in many high burden countries has become available. The authors conducted this study (a systematic review and meta-analysis) to quantify the serotypes causing invasive pneumococcal disease in children <5 years of age in order to estimate the global and regional serotype distribution and serotype-specific disease burden. This information can then be used to estimate the potential public health impact of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine formulations and help to inform decision making for both pneumococcal vaccine development and the introduction of a vaccine into a specific region.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
Using published studies and unpublished data provided by researchers, the researchers systematically reviewed studies that included data on invasive pneumococcal disease serotype among children <5 years of age. The researchers then used statistical tools to pool the serotype-specific proportions and combined this information with pneumococcal disease incidence and mortality estimates to calculate the global and regional burden of serotype-specific pneumococcal disease.
The researchers reviewed 1,292 studies and included 169 suitable studies in their analysis, which included information on 60,090 isolates from 70 countries. The researchers produced regional estimates of the serotypes that caused invasive pneumococcal disease among under five-year-olds in different regions: six serotypes were identified as causing most invasive pneumococcal disease in North America; nine serotypes were identified in Africa; and 11 serotypes were identified in Asia. The researchers also found that seven serotypes (1, 5, 6A, 6B, 14, 19F, and 23F) were the most common globally and that these seven serotypes accounted for 58%–66% of invasive pneumococcal disease in every region. On the basis of incidence and mortality estimates of invasive pneumococcal disease for the year 2000 (before pneumococcal conjugate vaccines were introduced), the researchers found that these serotypes represented >300,000 deaths in Africa and 200,000 deaths in Asia.
What Do These Findings Mean?
This study shows that a limited number of serotypes cause most invasive pneumococcal disease worldwide. This finding contradicts the conventional supposition that the most common serotypes causing invasive pneumococcal disease vary greatly across geographic regions. Crucially, the findings of this study also show that the serotypes currently included in existing pneumococcal conjugate formulations account for 49%–74% of deaths in Africa and Asia where the morbidity and mortality of pneumococcal disease are the highest and where most children do not have access to current pneumococcal conjugate vaccines. Although the authors do not provide country-level estimates of serotype distribution, country-specific vaccine impact estimates can be made using country-level pneumococcal disease burden numbers combined with the regional serotype estimates provided in this study. This means that national policy makers can assess the potential impact of serotypes included in different conjugate vaccines, which should contribute to their decision-making process. In addition, manufacturers can now work from a consensus set of serotype coverage estimates to plan and design future serotype-based vaccine formulations to target the pneumococcal disease burden.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1000348
The World Health Organization provides information about pneumococcus
The PneumoACTION provides information about pneumonia and pneumococcal disease
The Global Alliance for Vaccination and Immunisation has information on all aspects of vaccination and immunization
The US Centers for Disease Control provides information about pneumococcal conjugate vaccination
The Word Pneumonia Day coalition provides information about pneumonia
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000348
PMCID: PMC2950132  PMID: 20957191
5.  Optimal Serotype Compositions for Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccination under Serotype Replacement 
PLoS Computational Biology  2014;10(2):e1003477.
Pneumococcal conjugate vaccination has proved highly effective in eliminating vaccine-type pneumococcal carriage and disease. However, the potential adverse effects of serotype replacement remain a major concern when implementing routine childhood pneumococcal conjugate vaccination programmes. Applying a concise predictive model, we present a ready-to-use quantitative tool to investigate the implications of serotype replacement on the net effectiveness of vaccination against invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) and to guide in the selection of optimal vaccine serotype compositions. We utilise pre-vaccination data on pneumococcal carriage and IPD and assume partial or complete elimination of vaccine-type carriage, its replacement by non-vaccine-type carriage, and stable case-to-carrier ratios (probability of IPD per carriage episode). The model predicts that the post-vaccination IPD incidences in Finland for currently available vaccine serotype compositions can eventually decrease among the target age group of children <5 years of age by 75%. However, due to replacement through herd effects, the decrease among the older population is predicted to be much less (20–40%). We introduce a sequential algorithm for the search of optimal serotype compositions and assess the robustness of inferences to uncertainties in data and assumptions about carriage and IPD. The optimal serotype composition depends on the age group of interest and some serotypes may be highly beneficial vaccine types in one age category (e.g. 6B in children), while being disadvantageous in another. The net effectiveness will be improved only if the added serotype has a higher case-to-carrier ratio than the average case-to-carrier ratio of the current non-vaccine types and the degree of improvement in effectiveness depends on the carriage incidence of the serotype. The serotype compositions of currently available pneumococcal vaccines are not optimal and the effectiveness of vaccination in the population at large could be improved by including new serotypes in the vaccine (e.g. 22 and 9N).
Author Summary
The bacterial pathogen Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus) is a major contributor to child mortality worldwide. Hence, effective pneumococcal vaccination programmes are globally among the most cost-effective public health interventions. Three different conjugate vaccine compositions, targeting 7, 10 or 13 pneumococcal serotypes, have been used in infant vaccination programmes. The use of these vaccines has both decreased the disease burden and changed the patterns of pneumococcal carriage in locations where they have been in use. However, due to serotype replacement, where the lost vaccine serotype carriage is replaced by carriage of the non-vaccine serotypes, the net effect of vaccination on the disease burden has generally been milder than expected. Here, we apply a concise model for serotype replacement and present a ready-to-use tool for the prediction of patterns in post-vaccination pneumococcal incidence of carriage and invasive disease. We introduce a sequential algorithm for the identification of the most optimal additional serotypes to current vaccine formulations and demonstrate how differences in the invasiveness across serotypes imply that the disease incidence may either decrease or increase after vaccination. The methods we outline have direct relevance in decision making while reviewing the performance of the current pneumococcal vaccination programmes.
doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1003477
PMCID: PMC3923658  PMID: 24550722
6.  Prevention of pneumococcal diseases in the post-seven valent vaccine era: A European perspective 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2012;12:207.
Background
The burden of invasive pneumococcal disease in young children decreased dramatically following introduction of the 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7). The epidemiology of S. pneumoniae now reflects infections caused by serotypes not included in PCV7. Recently introduced higher valency pneumococcal vaccines target the residual burden of invasive and non-invasive infections, including those caused by serotypes not included in PCV7. This review is based on presentations made at the European Society of Pediatric Infectious Diseases in June 2011.
Discussion
Surveillance data show increased circulation of the non-PCV7 vaccine serotypes 1, 3, 6A, 6C, 7 F and 19A in countries with routine vaccination. Preliminary evidence suggests that broadened serotype coverage offered by higher valency vaccines may be having an effect on invasive disease caused by some of those serotypes, including 19A, 7 F and 6C. Aetiology of community acquired pneumonia remains a difficult clinical diagnosis. However, recent reports indicate that pneumococcal vaccination has reduced hospitalisations of children for vaccine serotype pneumonia. Variations in serotype circulation and occurrence of complicated and non-complicated pneumonia caused by non-PCV7 serotypes highlight the potential of higher valency vaccines to decrease the remaining burden. PCVs reduce nasopharyngeal carriage and acute otitis media (AOM) caused by vaccine serotypes. Recent investigations of the interaction between S. pneumoniae and non-typeable H. influenzae suggest that considerable reduction in severe, complicated AOM infections may be achieved by prevention of early pneumococcal carriage and AOM infections. Extension of the vaccine serotype spectrum beyond PCV7 may provide additional benefit in preventing the evolution of AOM. The direct and indirect costs associated with pneumococcal disease are high, thus herd protection and infections caused by non-vaccine serotypes both have strong effects on the cost effectiveness of pneumococcal vaccination. Recent evaluations highlight the public health significance of indirect benefits, prevention of pneumonia and AOM and coverage of non-PCV7 serotypes by higher valency vaccines.
Summary
Routine vaccination has greatly reduced the burden of pneumococcal diseases in children. The pneumococcal serotypes present in the 7-valent vaccine have greatly diminished among disease isolates. The prevalence of some non-vaccine serotypes (e.g. 1, 7 F and 19A) has increased. Pneumococcal vaccines with broadened serotype coverage are likely to continue decreasing the burden of invasive disease, and community acquired pneumonia in children. Further reductions in pneumococcal carriage and increased prevention of early AOM infections may prevent the evolution of severe, complicated AOM. Evaluation of the public health benefits of pneumococcal conjugate vaccines should include consideration of non-invasive pneumococcal infections, indirect effects of vaccination and broadened serotype coverage.
doi:10.1186/1471-2334-12-207
PMCID: PMC3462147  PMID: 22954038
Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine; Invasive pneumococcal disease; Community-acquired pneumonia; Acute otitis media; Vaccine serotype coverage; Epidemiology-incidence
7.  Effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of general immunisation of infants and young children with the heptavalent conjugated pneumococcal vaccine 
Background
The European Agency for the Evaluation of Medicinal Products (EMEA) granted market authorisation to the heptavalent pneumococcal vaccine Prevenar (Wyeth) in the year 2001. The indication of Prevenar is the active immunisation of infants and young children under the age of two against invasive disease caused by Streptococcus pneumonia serotypes 4, 6B, 9V, 14, 18C, 19F and 23F. At the time of this study the German vaccination scheme advises the immunisation with Prevenar only for children at high risk.
Objectives
The objective of the study is first to determine the efficacy and effectiveness of the immunisation of all children with the heptavalent conjugated pneumococcal vaccine in Germany and second, whether a general recommendation for vaccination of all children would be cost-effective.
Methods
A systematic literature search was performed in 29 relevant databases for the period of January 1999 to June 2004. Thus 1,884 articles were identified which were then assessed according to predefined selection criteria.
Results
There is evidence for the medical effectiveness of Prevenar against invasive pneumococcal disease caused by the covered serotypes from a major double-blinded RCT undertaken in California. The vaccine shows lower values of effectiveness against otitis media and pneumonia. The values for effectiveness of the vaccine in Germany are below the data for California because of the different incidence of Serotypes. The cost-effectiveness rates for an immunisation of all children with Prevenar vary across different countries. One reason - besides different Health Systems - can be seen in the uncertainty about the duration of protection, another in the assumption on regional serotype coverage of the vaccine. From the healthcare payers' perspective a general vaccination of all children in Germany is not cost-effective, from a societal perspective the benefits from vaccination could prevail the cost. The actual price of the vaccine (if financed by the Healthcare Payer, 2004) has dropped and is lower than the assumed price in the German cost-effectiveness study. This fact could raise the cost-effectiveness-ratio of a general immunisation.
Discussion
The low evidence of information on the herd immunity effect of pneumococcal immunisation, the occurrence on serotype-replacement phenomenon and the effects on the prevalence of antibiotic-resistant strains shall be considered when deciding whether the pneumococcal vaccination for all infants and young children should be added to the German vaccination scheme. There is also little information on the duration of vaccine effectiveness and regional effectiveness because of different serotype incidence. The economic models thus incorporate some uncertainties.
Conclusion
At present, relatively few pneumococcal strains in Germany show antibiotic resistance. This situation shall further be observed while improving the data evidence for future decisions (epidemiologic data of incidence of pneumococcal diseases and serotyping of pneumococcal bacteria). From the economic perspective no distinct recommendation to add the conjugated vaccination for all children to the German vaccination scheme can be given. This situation may change if the price for the vaccine further decreases. Furthermore a future cost-effectiveness analysis for Germany should incorporate the effects of the replacement phenomenon, the herd immunisation effects and the effects of the vaccination on the antibiotic-resistant pneumococcal strains.
PMCID: PMC3011321  PMID: 21289926
8.  Using Pneumococcal Carriage Data to Monitor Postvaccination Changes in Invasive Disease 
American Journal of Epidemiology  2013;178(9):1488-1495.
Pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (PCVs) have been introduced worldwide. However, few developing countries have high-quality surveillance systems available for monitoring vaccine impact. We evaluated whether data from nasopharyngeal carriage studies can be used to accurately monitor post-PCV changes in the incidence of invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) among children under 5 years of age. For various dates during 1991–2010, data on nasopharyngeal pneumococcal carriage and on IPD before and after administration of 7-valent PCV (PCV7) were available from England and Wales, the Netherlands, the Navajo and White Mountain Apache American Indian populations, and the US states of Massachusetts and Alaska. We estimated the change in carriage prevalence for each serotype in each study and then either calculated the average change (inverse variance-weighted) among vaccine and nonvaccine serotypes (model 1) or used mixed-effects models to estimate the change for each serotype individually, pooling serotype data within or between studies (models 2 and 3). We then multiplied these values by the proportion of IPD caused by each serotype during the pre-PCV7 period to obtain an estimate of post-PCV7 disease incidence. Model 1 accurately captured overall changes in IPD incidence following PCV7 introduction for most studies, while the more detailed models, models 2 and 3, were less accurate. Carriage data can be used in this simple model to estimate post-PCV changes in IPD incidence.
doi:10.1093/aje/kwt156
PMCID: PMC3813314  PMID: 24013204
carriage; conjugate vaccine, pneumococcal; pneumococcus; surveillance; vaccine effectiveness; vaccines
9.  Pneumococcal Serotypes and Mortality following Invasive Pneumococcal Disease: A Population-Based Cohort Study 
PLoS Medicine  2009;6(5):e1000081.
Analyzing population-based data collected over 30 years in more than 18,000 patients with invasive pneumococcal infection, Zitta Harboe and colleagues find specific pneumococcal serotypes to be associated with increased mortality.
Background
Pneumococcal disease is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. The aim of this study was to investigate the association between specific pneumococcal serotypes and mortality from invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD).
Methods and Findings
In a nationwide population-based cohort study of IPD in Denmark during 1977–2007, 30-d mortality associated with pneumococcal serotypes was examined by multivariate logistic regression analysis after controlling for potential confounders. A total of 18,858 IPD patients were included. Overall 30-d mortality was 18%, and 3% in children younger than age 5 y. Age, male sex, meningitis, high comorbidity level, alcoholism, and early decade of diagnosis were significantly associated with mortality. Among individuals aged 5 y and older, serotypes 31, 11A, 35F, 17F, 3, 16F, 19F, 15B, and 10A were associated with highly increased mortality as compared with serotype 1 (all: adjusted odds ratio ≥3, p<0.001). In children younger than 5 y, associations between serotypes and mortality were different than in adults but statistical precision was limited because of low overall childhood-related mortality.
Conclusions
Specific pneumococcal serotypes strongly and independently affect IPD associated mortality.
Editors' Summary
Background
Pneumococcal diseases—illnesses caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria—are leading causes of illness and death around the world. S. pneumoniae is transmitted through contact with infected respiratory secretions and usually causes noninvasive diseases such as ear infections and bronchitis. Sometimes, however, the bacteria invade the lungs (where they cause pneumonia), the bloodstream (where they cause bacteremia), or the covering of the brain (where they cause meningitis). These invasive pneumococcal diseases (IPDs) are often fatal. One million children die annually from pneumococcal disease, many of them in developing countries. In the developed world, however, IPDs mainly affect elderly people and patients with chronic conditions such as diabetes and alcoholism. Although pneumococcal diseases can sometimes be treated successfully with antibiotics, many patients die or develop long-term complications. Consequently, vaccination with “pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine” (PPV) is recommended for everyone over 65 years old and for people between 2 and 65 years old who are at high risk of developing IPD; vaccination with “pneumococcal conjugate vaccine” (PCV) is recommended for children younger than 2 years old who are at high risk of IPDs.
Why Was This Study Done?
S. pneumoniae is not a single organism. There are actually more than 90 S. pneumoniae variants or “serotypes.” These variants are coated with different polysaccharides (complex sugar molecules) that are, in part, responsible for the deleterious effects of S. pneumonia infections. The same molecules also trigger the human immune response that kills the bacteria. Consequently, pneumococcal vaccines contain polysaccharide mixtures isolated from the S. pneumoniae serotypes responsible for most pneumococcal disease. But are these serotypes also responsible for most of the deaths caused by IPD? Until now, the few studies that have investigated the association between S. pneumoniae serotypes and death from IPD have yielded conflicting results. Here, therefore, the researchers undertook a large population-based study to discover whether there is an association between specific pneumococcal serotypes and death following IPD.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers linked data on the serotype of S. pneumoniae isolates sent to the Danish National Neisseria and Streptococcus Reference Center between 1977 and 2007 with clinical data from national medical databases. After allowing for other factors that might affect a person's likelihood of dying from IPD (for example, age and other illnesses), the researchers used multivariate logistic regression analysis (a statistical approach) to look for associations between S. pneumoniae serotypes and death within 30 days of admission to hospital for pneumococcal bacteremia or meningitis. Overall, 18% of the nearly 19,000 people included in this analysis died within 30 days of hospital admission; among the children younger than 5 years included in the study, the death rate was 3%. Among patients 5 years old or older, nine S. pneumoniae serotypes were associated with a more than 3-fold higher death rate (mostly from bacteremia) than serotype 1, the most common serotype isolated during the study. Interestingly, in young children, a different set of serotypes seemed to be associated with death. However, because so few children died from IPD, this result is statistically uncertain. The researchers' results also show that age, gender, having meningitis, having other illnesses, and alcoholism all affected a patient's chances of dying from IPD.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings show that specific pneumococcal serotypes strongly affect the likelihood that a person aged 5 years or over will die within 30 days of admission to hospital with IPD. Importantly, unlike previous studies, this study was large and comprehensive—the Danish surveillance center covers more than 90% of the Danish population—and the researchers carefully took other factors into account that might have affected a patient's chances of dying from IPD. Thus, these new insights into which pneumococcal serotypes are most deadly could help in the design of new pneumococcal vaccines, at least for people aged 5 years or older. For younger children, however, the results are not as informative and a similar study now needs to be done in developing countries, where more young people die from IPD.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1000081.
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 disease
The UK Health Protection Agency also provides background information on pneumococcal disease
The GAVI's Pneumococcal Vaccines Accelerated Development and Introduction Plan focuses on pneumococcal vaccines for children
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000081
PMCID: PMC2680036  PMID: 19468297
10.  Pneumococcal Transmission and Disease In Silico: A Microsimulation Model of the Indirect Effects of Vaccination 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(2):e56079.
Background
The degree and time frame of indirect effects of vaccination (serotype replacement and herd immunity) are key determinants in assessing the net effectiveness of vaccination with pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (PCV) in control of pneumococcal disease. Using modelling, we aimed to quantify these effects and their dependence on coverage of vaccination and the vaccine's efficacy against susceptibility to pneumococcal carriage.
Methods and Findings
We constructed an individual-based simulation model that explores the effects of large-scale PCV programmes and applied it in a developed country setting (Finland). A population structure with transmission of carriage taking place within relevant mixing groups (families, day care groups, schools and neighbourhoods) was considered in order to properly assess the dependency of herd immunity on coverage of vaccination and vaccine efficacy against carriage. Issues regarding potential serotype replacement were addressed by employing a novel competition structure between multiple pneumococcal serotypes. Model parameters were calibrated from pre-vaccination data about the age-specific carriage prevalence and serotype distribution. The model predicts that elimination of vaccine-type carriage and disease among those vaccinated and, due to a substantial herd effect, also among the general population takes place within 5–10 years since the onset of a PCV programme with high (90%) coverage of vaccination and moderate (50%) vaccine efficacy against acquisition of carriage. A near-complete replacement of vaccine-type carriage by non-vaccine-type carriage occurs within the same time frame.
Conclusions
The changed patterns in pneumococcal carriage after PCV vaccination predicted by the model are unequivocal. The overall effect on disease incidence depends crucially on the magnitude of age- and serotype-specific case-to-carrier ratios of the remaining serotypes relative to those of the vaccine types. Thus the availability of reliable data on the incidence of both pneumococcal carriage and disease is essential in assessing the net effectiveness of PCV vaccination in a given epidemiological setting.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0056079
PMCID: PMC3566073  PMID: 23457504
11.  Aging Promotes B-1b Cell Responses to Native, but Not Protein-Conjugated, Pneumococcal Polysaccharides: Implications for Vaccine Protection in Older Adults 
The efficacy of different vaccines in protecting elderly individuals against Streptococcus pneumoniae infections is not clear. In the current study, aged mice (22–25 months old) exhibited significantly increased susceptibility to respiratory infection with serotype 3 S. pneumoniae relative to younger adult mice, regardless of whether mice were naive or immunized with native pneumococcal polysaccharide (PPS; Pneumovax23) or protein-PPS conjugate (Prevnar-13) vaccines. Nonetheless, Pneumovax-immunized aged mice developed limited bacteremia following respiratory challenge and exhibited significantly increased survival following systemic challenge relative to Prevnar-immune aged mice and young mice that had received either vaccine. This was explained by >10-fold increases in PPS-specific immunoglobulin G (IgG) levels in Pneumovax-immunized aged mice relative to other groups. Remarkably, PPS3-specific B-cell expansion, IgG switching, plasmablast differentiation, and spleen and bone marrow antibody-secreting cell frequencies were 10-fold higher in aged mice following Pneumovax immunization relative to young mice, due to significantly increased B-1b cell participation. In summary, this study highlights (1) the need to devise strategies to enhance respiratory immunity in aged populations, (2) the diverse responses young and aged populations generate to Pneumovax vs Prevnar vaccines, and (3) the potential value of exploiting B-1b cell responses in aged individuals for increased vaccine efficacy.
doi:10.1093/infdis/jit442
PMCID: PMC3864388  PMID: 23964109
Pneumovax23; Prevnar-13; vaccines; B-1b cells; aging; Streptococcus pneumoniae; humoral immunity
12.  Pneumococcal conjugate vaccination in Canadian infants and children younger than five years of age: Recommendations and expected benefits 
Introduction
Streptococcus pneumoniae infection may result in invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD), such as bacteremia, meningitis and bacteremic pneumonia, or in non-IPD, such as pneumonia, sinusitis and otitis media. In June 2001, a heptavalent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7) (Prevnar, Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, Canada) was approved for use in children in Canada. The objective of the present paper is to review S pneumoniae-induced disease incidence and vaccine recommendations in Canadian infants and children younger than five years of age. Particular attention is given to the expected benefits of vaccination in Canada based on postmarketing data and economic modelling.
Methods
Searches were performed on PubMed and Web of Science databases and specific Canadian journals using the key words 'pneumococc*', 'vaccine', 'conjugate', 'infant' and 'Canadian'.
Results and Discussion
PCV7 appears to be safe and effective against IPD and non-IPD in children younger than five years of age and, more importantly, in children younger than two years of age (who are at highest risk for IPD). An examination of postmarketing data showed a reduction in incidence of pneumococcal disease in age groups that were vaccinated and in older age groups, indicating the likelihood of herd protection. Concurrently, there was a reduction in the occurrence of antimicrobial-resistant isolates.
Conclusions
The results from the present review suggest that PCV7 is currently benefiting Canadian children and society by lowering S pneumoniae-associated disease. Additional gains from herd protection and further reductions in antimicrobial resistance will be achieved as more Canadian children younger than five years of age are routinely vaccinated with PCV7.
PMCID: PMC2095050  PMID: 18418479
Conjugate; Economic; Infant; Pneumococcus; Post-marketing; Prevnar; Streptococcus pneumoniae
13.  Multi-Serotype Pneumococcal Nasopharyngeal Carriage Prevalence in Vaccine Naïve Nepalese Children, Assessed Using Molecular Serotyping 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(2):e0114286.
Invasive pneumococcal disease is one of the major causes of death in young children in resource poor countries. Nasopharyngeal carriage studies provide insight into the local prevalence of circulating pneumococcal serotypes. There are very few data on the concurrent carriage of multiple pneumococcal serotypes. This study aimed to identify the prevalence and serotype distribution of pneumococci carried in the nasopharynx of young healthy Nepalese children prior to the introduction of a pneumococcal conjugate vaccine using a microarray-based molecular serotyping method capable of detecting multi-serotype carriage. We conducted a cross-sectional study of healthy children aged 6 weeks to 24 months from the Kathmandu Valley, Nepal between May and October 2012. Nasopharyngeal swabs were frozen and subsequently plated on selective culture media. DNA extracts of plate sweeps of pneumococcal colonies from these cultures were analysed using a molecular serotyping microarray capable of detecting relative abundance of multiple pneumococcal serotypes. 600 children were enrolled into the study: 199 aged 6 weeks to <6 months, 202 aged 6 months to < 12 months, and 199 aged 12 month to 24 months. Typeable pneumococci were identified in 297/600 (49·5%) of samples with more than one serotype being found in 67/297 (20·2%) of these samples. The serotypes covered by the thirteen-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine were identified in 44·4% of samples containing typeable pneumococci. Application of a molecular serotyping approach to identification of multiple pneumococcal carriage demonstrates a substantial prevalence of co-colonisation. Continued surveillance utilising this approach following the introduction of routine use of pneumococcal conjugate vaccinates in infants will provide a more accurate understanding of vaccine efficacy against carriage and a better understanding of the dynamics of subsequent serotype and genotype replacement.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0114286
PMCID: PMC4313945  PMID: 25643355
14.  Mathematical Modelling Long-Term Effects of Replacing Prevnar7 with Prevnar13 on Invasive Pneumococcal Diseases in England and Wales 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(7):e39927.
Introduction
England and Wales recently replaced the 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7) with its 13-valent equivalent (PCV13), partly based on projections from mathematical models of the long-term impact of such a switch compared to ceasing pneumococcal conjugate vaccination altogether.
Methods
A compartmental deterministic model was used to estimate parameters governing transmission of infection and competition between different groups of pneumococcal serotypes prior to the introduction of PCV13. The best-fitting parameters were used in an individual based model to describe pneumococcal transmission dynamics and effects of various options for the vaccination programme change in England and Wales. A number of scenarios were conducted using (i) different assumptions about the number of invasive pneumococcal disease cases adjusted for the increasing trend in disease incidence prior to PCV7 introduction in England and Wales, and (ii) a range of values representing serotype replacement induced by vaccination of the additional six serotypes in PCV13.
Results
Most of the scenarios considered suggest that ceasing pneumococcal conjugate vaccine use would cause an increase in invasive pneumococcal disease incidence, while replacing PCV7 with PCV13 would cause an overall decrease. However, the size of this reduction largely depends on the level of competition induced by the additional serotypes in PCV13. The model estimates that over 20 years of PCV13 vaccination, around 5000–62000 IPD cases could be prevented compared to stopping pneumococcal conjugate vaccination altogether.
Conclusion
Despite inevitable uncertainty around serotype replacement effects following introduction of PCV13, the model suggests a reduction in overall invasive pneumococcal disease incidence in all cases. Our results provide useful evidence on the benefits of PCV13 to countries replacing or considering replacing PCV7 with PCV13, as well as data that can be used to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of such a switch.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0039927
PMCID: PMC3396640  PMID: 22808073
15.  Association between Respiratory Syncytial Virus Activity and Pneumococcal Disease in Infants: A Time Series Analysis of US Hospitalization Data 
PLoS Medicine  2015;12(1):e1001776.
Daniel Weinberger and colleagues examine a possible interaction between two serious respiratory infections in children under 2 years of age.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Background
The importance of bacterial infections following respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) remains unclear. We evaluated whether variations in RSV epidemic timing and magnitude are associated with variations in pneumococcal disease epidemics and whether changes in pneumococcal disease following the introduction of seven-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7) were associated with changes in the rate of hospitalizations coded as RSV.
Methods and Findings
We used data from the State Inpatient Databases (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality), including >700,000 RSV hospitalizations and >16,000 pneumococcal pneumonia hospitalizations in 36 states (1992/1993–2008/2009). Harmonic regression was used to estimate the timing of the average seasonal peak of RSV, pneumococcal pneumonia, and pneumococcal septicemia. We then estimated the association between the incidence of pneumococcal disease in children and the activity of RSV and influenza (where there is a well-established association) using Poisson regression models that controlled for shared seasonal variations. Finally, we estimated changes in the rate of hospitalizations coded as RSV following the introduction of PCV7. RSV and pneumococcal pneumonia shared a distinctive spatiotemporal pattern (correlation of peak timing: ρ = 0.70, 95% CI: 0.45, 0.84). RSV was associated with a significant increase in the incidence of pneumococcal pneumonia in children aged <1 y (attributable percent [AP]: 20.3%, 95% CI: 17.4%, 25.1%) and among children aged 1–2 y (AP: 10.1%, 95% CI: 7.6%, 13.9%). Influenza was also associated with an increase in pneumococcal pneumonia among children aged 1–2 y (AP: 3.2%, 95% CI: 1.7%, 4.7%). Finally, we observed a significant decline in RSV-coded hospitalizations in children aged <1 y following PCV7 introduction (−18.0%, 95% CI: −22.6%, −13.1%, for 2004/2005–2008/2009 versus 1997/1998–1999/2000). This study used aggregated hospitalization data, and studies with individual-level, laboratory-confirmed data could help to confirm these findings.
Conclusions
These analyses provide evidence for an interaction between RSV and pneumococcal pneumonia. Future work should evaluate whether treatment for secondary bacterial infections could be considered for pneumonia cases even if a child tests positive for RSV.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Respiratory infections—bacterial and viral infections of the lungs and the airways (the tubes that take oxygen-rich air to the lungs)—are major causes of illness and death in children worldwide. Pneumonia (infection of the lungs) alone is responsible for about 15% of all child deaths. The leading cause of bacterial pneumonia in children is Streptococcus pneumoniae, which is transmitted through contact with infected respiratory secretions. S. pneumoniae usually causes noninvasive diseases such as bronchitis, but sometimes the bacteria invade the lungs, the bloodstream, or the covering of the brain, where they cause pneumonia, septicemia, or meningitis, respectively. These potentially fatal invasive pneumococcal diseases can be treated with antibiotics but can also be prevented by vaccination with pneumococcal conjugate vaccines such as PCV7. The leading cause of viral pneumonia is respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), which is also readily transmitted through contact with infected respiratory secretions. Almost all children have an RSV infection before their second birthday—RSV usually causes a mild cold-like illness. However, some children infected with RSV develop pneumonia and have to be admitted to hospital for supportive care such as the provision of supplemental oxygen; there is no specific treatment for RSV infection.
Why Was This Study Done?
Co-infections with bacteria and viruses can sometimes have a synergistic effect and lead to more severe disease than an infection with either type of pathogen (disease-causing organism) alone. For example, influenza infections increase the risk of invasive pneumococcal disease. But does pneumococcal disease also interact with RSV infection? It is important to understand the interaction between pneumococcal disease and RSV to improve the treatment of respiratory infections in young children, but the importance of bacterial infections following RSV infection is currently unclear. Here, the researchers undertake a time series analysis of US hospitalization data to investigate the association between RSV activity and pneumococcal disease in infants. Time series analysis uses statistical methods to analyze data collected at successive, evenly spaced time points.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
For their analysis, the researchers used data collected between 1992/1993 and 2008/2009 by the State Inpatient Databases on more than 700,000 hospitalizations for RSV and more than 16,000 hospitalizations for pneumococcal pneumonia or septicemia among children under two years old in 36 US states. Using a statistical technique called harmonic regression to measure seasonal variations in disease incidence (the rate of occurrence of new cases of a disease), the researchers show that RSV and pneumococcal pneumonia shared a distinctive spatiotemporal pattern over the study period. Next, using Poisson regression models (another type of statistical analysis), they show that RSV was associated with significant increases (increases unlikely to have happened by chance) in the incidence of pneumococcal disease. Among children under one year old, 20.3% of pneumococcal pneumonia cases were associated with RSV activity; among children 1–2 years old, 10.1% of pneumococcal pneumonia cases were associated with RSV activity. Finally, the researchers report that following the introduction of routine vaccination in the US against S. pneumoniae with PCV7 in 2000, there was a significant decline in hospitalizations for RSV among children under one year old.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings provide evidence for an interaction between RSV and pneumococcal pneumonia and indicate that RSV is associated with increases in the incidence of pneumococcal pneumonia, particularly in young infants. Notably, the finding that RSV hospitalizations declined after the introduction of routine pneumococcal vaccination suggests that some RSV hospitalizations may have a joint viral–bacterial etiology (cause), although it is possible that PCV7 vaccination reduced the diagnosis of RSV because fewer children were hospitalized with pneumococcal disease and subsequently tested for RSV. Because this is an ecological study (an observational investigation that looks at risk factors and outcomes in temporally and geographically defined populations), these findings do not provide evidence for a causal link between hospitalizations for RSV and pneumococcal pneumonia. The similar spatiotemporal patterns for the two infections might reflect another unknown factor shared by the children who were hospitalized for RSV or pneumococcal pneumonia. Moreover, because pooled hospitalization discharge data were used in this study, these results need to be confirmed through analysis of individual-level, laboratory-confirmed data. Importantly, however, these findings support the initiation of studies to determine whether treatment for bacterial infections should be considered for children with pneumonia even if they have tested positive for RSV.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001776.
The US National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute provides information about the respiratory system and about pneumonia
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides information on all aspects of pneumococcal disease and pneumococcal vaccination, including personal stories and information about RSV infection
The UK National Health Service Choices website provides information about pneumonia (including a personal story) and about pneumococcal diseases
KidsHealth, a website provided by the US-based non-profit Nemours Foundation, includes information on pneumonia and on RSV (in English and Spanish)
MedlinePlus provides links to other resources about pneumonia, RSV infections, and pneumococcal infections (in English and Spanish)
HCUPnet provides aggregated hospitalization data from the State Inpatient Databases used in this study
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001776
PMCID: PMC4285401  PMID: 25562317
16.  Pneumococcal Carriage and Antibiotic Resistance in Young Children before 13-Valent Conjugate Vaccine 
Background
We sought to measure trends in Streptococcus pneumoniae (SP) carriage and antibiotic resistance in young children in Massachusetts communities after widespread adoption of heptavalent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7) and before the introduction of the 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13).
Methods
We conducted a cross-sectional study including collection of questionnaire data and nasopharyngeal specimens among children <7 years in primary care practices from 8 Massachusetts communities during the winter season of 2008–9 and compared with to similar studies performed in 2001, 2003–4, and 2006–7. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing and serotyping were performed on pneumococcal isolates, and risk factors for colonization in recent seasons (2006–07 and 2008–09) were evaluated.
Results
We collected nasopharyngeal specimens from 1,011 children, 290 (29%) of whom were colonized with pneumococcus. Non-PCV7 serotypes accounted for 98% of pneumococcal isolates, most commonly 19A (14%), 6C (11%), and 15B/C (11%). In 2008–09, newly-targeted PCV13 serotypes accounted for 20% of carriage isolates and 41% of penicillin non-susceptible S. pneumoniae (PNSP). In multivariate models, younger age, child care, young siblings, and upper respiratory illness remained predictors of pneumococcal carriage, despite near-complete serotype replacement. Only young age and child care were significantly associated with PNSP carriage.
Conclusions
Serotype replacement post-PCV7 is essentially complete and has been sustained in young children, with the relatively virulent 19A being the most common serotype. Predictors of carriage remained similar despite serotype replacement. PCV13 may reduce 19A and decrease antibiotic-resistant strains, but monitoring for new serotype replacement is warranted.
doi:10.1097/INF.0b013e31824214ac
PMCID: PMC3288953  PMID: 22173142
Streptococcus pneumoniae; pneumococcal conjugate vaccine; antibiotic resistance; serotype; colonization
17.  Population Genetic Structure of Streptococcus pneumoniae in Kilifi, Kenya, Prior to the Introduction of Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(11):e81539.
Background
The 10-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV10) was introduced in Kenya in 2011. Introduction of any PCV will perturb the existing pneumococcal population structure, thus the aim was to genotype pneumococci collected in Kilifi before PCV10.
Methods and Findings
Using multilocus sequence typing (MLST), we genotyped >1100 invasive and carriage pneumococci from children, the largest collection genotyped from a single resource-poor country and reported to date. Serotype 1 was the most common serotype causing invasive disease and was rarely detected in carriage; all serotype 1 isolates were members of clonal complex (CC) 217. There were temporal fluctuations in the major circulating sequence types (STs); and although 1-3 major serotype 1, 14 or 23F STs co-circulated annually, the two major serotype 5 STs mainly circulated independently. Major STs/CCs also included isolates of serotypes 3, 12F, 18C and 19A and each shared ≤2 MLST alleles with STs that circulate widely elsewhere. Major CCs associated with non-PCV10 serotypes were predominantly represented by carriage isolates, although serotype 19A and 12F CCs were largely invasive and a serotype 10A CC was equally represented by invasive and carriage isolates.
Conclusions
Understanding the pre-PCV10 population genetic structure in Kilifi will allow for the detection of changes in prevalence of the circulating genotypes and evidence for capsular switching post-vaccine implementation.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0081539
PMCID: PMC3839905  PMID: 24282605
18.  Identifying an appropriate PCV for use in Senegal, recent insights concerning Streptococcus pneumoniae NP carriage and IPD in Dakar 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2014;14(1):627.
Background
Since 2000, the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) and WHO have supported the introduction of the Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV) in the immunization programs of developing countries. The highest pneumococcal nasopharyngeal carriage rates have been reported (40-60%) in these countries, and the highest incidence and case fatality rates of pneumococcal infections have been demonstrated in Africa.
Methods
Studies concerning nasopharyngeal pneumococcal carriage and pneumococcal infection in children less than 5 years old were conducted in Dakar from 2007 to 2008. Serotype, antibiotic susceptibility and minimum inhibitory concentrations were determined. In addition, among 17 overall publications, 6 manuscripts of the Senegalese literature published from 1972 to 2013 were selected for data comparisons.
Results
Among the 264 children observed, 132 (50%) children generated a nasopharyngeal (NP) positive culture with Streptococcus pneumoniae. The five most prevalent serotypes, were 6B (9%), 19 F (9%), 23 F (7.6%), 14 (7.6%) and 6A (6.8%). Fifteen percent of the strains (20/132) showed reduced susceptibility to penicillin and 3% (4/132) showed reduced susceptibility to anti-pneumococcal fluoroquinolones. Among the 196 suspected pneumococcal infections, 62 (31.6%) Streptococcus pneumoniae were isolated. Serogroup 1 was the most prevalent serotype (21.3%), followed by 6B (14.9%), 23 F (14.9%) and 5 (8.5%). Vaccine coverage for PCV-7, PCV-10 and PCV-13, were 36.2% (17/47), 66% (31/47) and 70.2% (33/47) respectively. Reduced susceptibility to penicillin and anti-pneumococcal fluoroquinolones was 6.4% and 4.3%, respectively, and the overall lethality was 42.4% (14/33).
Conclusions
This study confirms a high rate of carriage and disease caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae serotypes contained within the current generation of pneumococcal conjugate vaccines and consistent with reports from other countries in sub-Saharan Africa prior to PCV introduction. Antimicrobial resistance in this small unselected sample confirms a low rate of antibiotic resistance. Case-fatality is high. Introduction of a high valency pneumococcal vaccine should be a priority for health planners with the establishment of an effective surveillance system to monitor post vaccine changes.
doi:10.1186/s12879-014-0627-8
PMCID: PMC4258793  PMID: 25471219
Streptococcus pneumoniae; Nasopharyngeal carriage; Invasive pneumococcal disease; Serotypes; Antibiotic resistance; Children; Sub-Saharan Africa; Senegal
19.  Pneumococcal Carriage in Sub-Saharan Africa—A Systematic Review 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(1):e85001.
Background
Pneumococcal epidemiology varies geographically and few data are available from the African continent. We assess pneumococcal carriage from studies conducted in sub-Saharan Africa (sSA) before and after the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) era.
Methods
A search for pneumococcal carriage studies published before 2012 was conducted to describe carriage in sSA. The review also describes pneumococcal serotypes and assesses the impact of vaccination on carriage in this region.
Results
Fifty-seven studies were included in this review with the majority (40.3%) from South Africa. There was considerable variability in the prevalence of carriage between studies (I-squared statistic = 99%). Carriage was higher in children and decreased with increasing age, 63.2% (95% CI: 55.6–70.8) in children less than 5 years, 42.6% (95% CI: 29.9–55.4) in children 5–15 years and 28.0% (95% CI: 19.0–37.0) in adults older than 15 years. There was no difference in the prevalence of carriage between males and females in 9/11 studies. Serotypes 19F, 6B, 6A, 14 and 23F were the five most common isolates. A meta-analysis of four randomized trials of PCV vaccination in children aged 9–24 months showed that carriage of vaccine type (VT) serotypes decreased with PCV vaccination; however, overall carriage remained the same because of a concomitant increase in non-vaccine type (NVT) serotypes.
Conclusion
Pneumococcal carriage is generally high in the African continent, particularly in young children. The five most common serotypes in sSA are among the top seven serotypes that cause invasive pneumococcal disease in children globally. These serotypes are covered by the two PCVs recommended for routine childhood immunization by the WHO. The distribution of serotypes found in the nasopharynx is altered by PCV vaccination.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0085001
PMCID: PMC3896352  PMID: 24465464
20.  Vaccination against pneumococcus in West Africa: perspectives and prospects 
Background
Pneumococcal vaccination has become obligatory due to the enormous burden of pneumococcal diseases. Quite recently, pneumococcal conjugate vaccines have been developed, and have been shown to be superior to the previous polyvalent polysaccharide vaccine of the organism. Pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (PCVs) are being introduced in many West African countries and it is important to understand the expected performance, relevance, and limitations of these vaccines in the subregion.
Aim
The objective of the study presented here was to provide epidemiological insights into PCVs in West Africa based on the prevailing pneumococcal serotypes in the subregion.
Methods
A systematic review was carried out on pneumococcal serotypes causing invasive and noninvasive diseases in West Africa. Studies included in the review were those that reported at least 20 serotyped pneumococcal isolates and which were conducted prior to the introduction of PCVs in the region in 2009. The proportion of pneumococcal disease associated with each serotype as well as the serotype coverage of various PCVs (PCV7, PCV10, and PCV13) were calculated.
Results
The data covered 718 serotyped pneumococcal isolates from six West African countries: Burkina Faso, Ghana, Nigeria, Mali, Senegal, and The Gambia. The 718 isolates covered more than 20 serotypes. Serotype 1 was the most prevalent serotype (32%), followed by serotype 5 (15%), serotype 6 (7%), serotype 2 (6%), serotype 3 (6%), and serotype 12 (5%). The estimated serotype coverage of PCVs among the West African countries was 2%–36% for PCV7, 39%–80% for PCV10, and 65%–87% for PCV13.
Conclusion
A pneumococcal capsular vaccine for use in West Africa must contain serotypes 1 and 5, the most important serotypes responsible for pneumococcal disease in the region. Consequently, while PCV10 and PCV13 are generally suitable for use in West Africa, PCV7 is unsuitable.
doi:10.2147/IJGM.S45842
PMCID: PMC3775674  PMID: 24049454
pneumococcus; conjugate vaccines; serotype; PVC10; PVC13; pneumococcal disease; Streptococcus pneumoniae
21.  Outbreaks of Streptococcus pneumoniae carriage in day care cohorts in Finland – implications for elimination of transmission 
Background
Day care centre (DCC) attendees play a central role in maintaining the circulation of Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus) in the population. Exposure within families and within DCCs are the main risk factors for colonisation with pneumococcal serotypes in DCC attendees.
Methods
Transmission of serotype specific carriage was analysed with a continuous time event history model, based on longitudinal data from day care attendees and their family members. Rates of acquisition, conditional on exposure, were estimated in a Bayesian framework utilising latent processes of carriage. To ensure a correct level of exposure, non-participating day care attendees and their family members were included in the analysis. Posterior predictive simulations were used to quantify transmission patterns within day care cohorts, to estimate the basic reproduction number for pneumococcal carriage in a population of day care cohorts, and to assess the critical vaccine efficacy against carriage to eliminate pneumococcal transmission.
Results
The model, validated by posterior predictive sampling, was successful in capturing the strong temporal clustering of pneumococcal serotypes in the day care cohorts. In average 2.7 new outbreaks of pneumococcal carriage initiate in a day care cohort each month. While 39% of outbreaks were of size one, the mean outbreak size was 7.6 individuals and the mean length of an outbreak was 2.8 months. The role of families in creating and maintaining transmission was minimal, as only 10% of acquisitions in day care attendees were from family members. Considering a population of day care cohorts, a child-to-child basic reproduction number was estimated as 1.4 and the critical vaccine efficacy against acquisition of carriage as 0.3.
Conclusion
Pneumococcal transmission occurs in serotype specific outbreaks of carriage, driven by within-day-care transmission and between-serotype competition. An amplifying effect of the day care cohorts enhances the spread of pneumococcal serotypes within the population. The effect of vaccination, in addition to reducing susceptibility to pneumococcal carriage in the vaccinated, induces a herd effect, thus creating a counter-effect to the amplifying effect of the cohort. Consequently, the critical vaccine efficacy against carriage, required for elimination of transmission, is relatively low. Use of pneumococcal conjugate vaccines is expected to induce a notable herd protection against pneumococcal disease.
doi:10.1186/1471-2334-9-102
PMCID: PMC2717096  PMID: 19558701
22.  Establishment of a New Human Pneumococcal Standard Reference Serum, 007sp ▿ 
Clinical and Vaccine Immunology : CVI  2011;18(10):1728-1736.
Lot 89SF has been the reference standard serum pool used in pneumococcal enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) since 1990. In 2005, it was estimated that there remained between 2 and 5 years' supply of lot 89SF. Since lot 89SF was the reference standard used in the evaluation of the seven-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine Prevnar (PCV7), the link to clinical efficacy would be severed if stocks became completely depleted. Furthermore, demonstration of immune responses comparable to those elicited by PCV7 is a licensure approach used for new pneumococcal conjugate vaccines, so a replacement reference standard was required. A total of 278 volunteers were immunized with the 23-valent unconjugated polysaccharide vaccine Pneumovax II, and a unit of blood was obtained twice within 120 days following immunization. Plasma was prepared, pooled, and confirmed to be free from hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), and HIV. The pooled serum was poured at 6 ml per vial into 15,333 vials and lyophilized. Immunological bridging of 007sp to 89SF was used to establish equivalent reference values for 13 pneumococcal capsular serotypes (1, 3, 4, 5, 6A, 6B, 7F, 9V, 14, 18C, 19A, 19F and 23F) by five independent laboratories. Antibody concentrations in 007sp were established relative to the lot 89SF reference preparation using the WHO reference ELISA. Subsequently, 12 existing WHO calibration sera had concentrations reassigned for 13 pneumococcal serotypes using new serum 007sp as the reference, and these were compared to concentrations relative to the original reference serum. Agreement was excellent for the 12 WHO calibration sera. The 007sp preparation has replaced 89SF as the pneumococcal reference standard. Sufficient quantity of this new preparation is available such that, with judicious use, it should be available for at least 25 years.
doi:10.1128/CVI.05252-11
PMCID: PMC3187044  PMID: 21852547
23.  Evaluation of Coseasonality of Influenza and Invasive Pneumococcal Disease: Results from Prospective Surveillance 
PLoS Medicine  2011;8(6):e1001042.
Using a combination of modeling and statistical analyses, David Fisman and colleagues show that influenza likely influences the incidence of invasive pneumococcal disease by enhancing risk of invasion in colonized individuals.
Background
The wintertime co-occurrence of peaks in influenza and invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) is well documented, but how and whether wintertime peaks caused by these two pathogens are causally related is still uncertain. We aimed to investigate the relationship between influenza infection and IPD in Ontario, Canada, using several complementary methodological tools.
Methods and Findings
We evaluated a total number of 38,501 positive influenza tests in Central Ontario and 6,191 episodes of IPD in the Toronto/Peel area, Ontario, Canada, between 1 January 1995 and 3 October 2009, reported through population-based surveillance. We assessed the relationship between the seasonal wave forms for influenza and IPD using fast Fourier transforms in order to examine the relationship between these two pathogens over yearly timescales. We also used three complementary statistical methods (time-series methods, negative binomial regression, and case-crossover methods) to evaluate the short-term effect of influenza dynamics on pneumococcal risk. Annual periodicity with wintertime peaks could be demonstrated for IPD, whereas periodicity for influenza was less regular. As for long-term effects, phase and amplitude terms of pneumococcal and influenza seasonal sine waves were not correlated and meta-analysis confirmed significant heterogeneity of influenza, but not pneumococcal phase terms. In contrast, influenza was shown to Granger-cause pneumococcal disease. A short-term association between IPD and influenza could be demonstrated for 1-week lags in both case-crossover (odds ratio [95% confidence interval] for one case of IPD per 100 influenza cases  = 1.10 [1.02–1.18]) and negative binomial regression analysis (incidence rate ratio [95% confidence interval] for one case of IPD per 100 influenza cases  = 1.09 [1.05–1.14]).
Conclusions
Our data support the hypothesis that influenza influences bacterial disease incidence by enhancing short-term risk of invasion in colonized individuals. The absence of correlation between seasonal waveforms, on the other hand, suggests that bacterial disease transmission is affected to a lesser extent.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Although some pathogens (disease-causing organisms) cause illness all year round, others are responsible for seasonal peaks of illness. These peaks occur because of a complex interplay of factors such as the loss of immunity to the pathogen over time and seasonal changes in the pathogen's ability to infect new individuals. Thus, in temperate countries in the northern hemisphere, illness caused by influenza viruses (pathogens that infect the nose, throat, and airways) usually peaks between December and March, perhaps because weather conditions during these months favor the survival of influenza virus in the environment and thus increase its chances of being transferred among people. Another illness that peaks during the winter months in temperate regions is pneumonia, a severe lung infection that is often caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae. These bacteria can colonize the back of the throat without causing disease but occasionally spread into the lungs and other organs where they cause potentially fatal invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD).
Why Was This Study Done?
Although the co-occurrence of seasonal peaks of influenza and IPD is well documented, it is unclear whether (or how) these peaks are causally related. For example, do the peaks of influenza and IPD both occur in the winter because influenza enhances person-to-person transmission of S. pneumoniae (hypothesis 1)? Alternatively, do the diseases co-occur because influenza infection increases the risk of IPD in individuals who are already colonized with S. pneumoniae (hypothesis 2)? Healthcare professionals need to know whether there is a causal relationship between influenza and IPD so that they can target vaccination for both diseases to those individuals most at risk of developing the potentially serious complications of these diseases. In this study, the researchers use several mathematical and statistical methods and data on influenza and IPD collected in Ontario, Canada to investigate the relationship between these seasonal illnesses.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
Between January 1995 and October 2009, 38,501 positive influenza tests were recorded in Ontario by the Canadian national influenza surveillance network. Over the same time period, the Toronto Invasive Bacterial Diseases Network (a group of hospitals, laboratories, and doctors that undertakes population-based surveillance for serious bacterial infections in the Toronto and Peel Regions of Ontario) recorded 6,191 IPD episodes. The researchers used a mathematical method called fast Fourier transforms that compares the shape of wave forms to look for any relationship between infections with the two pathogens over yearly timescales (a test of hypothesis 1) and three statistical methods to evaluate the short-term effect of influenza dynamics on IPD risk (tests of hypothesis 2). Although they found wintertime peaks for infections with both pathogens, there was no correlation between the seasonal wave forms for influenza and IPD. That is, there was no relationship between the seasonal patterns of the two infections. By contrast, two of the statistical methods used to test hypothesis 2 revealed a short-term association between infections with influenza and with IPD. Moreover, the third statistical method (the Granger causality Wald test, a type of time-series analysis) provided evidence that data collected at intervals on influenza can be used to predict peaks in IPD infections.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings support (but do not prove) the hypothesis that influenza influences IPD incidence by enhancing the short-term risk of bacterial invasion in individuals already colonized with S. pneumoniae, possibly by increasing the permeability of the lining of the airways to bacteria. By contrast, the lack of correlation between the seasonal wave forms for the two diseases suggests that person-to-person transfer of S. pneumoniae is affected by influenza infections to a lesser extent. These findings have important implications for disease control policy. First, they suggest that the increased number of influenza infections in pandemic years may not necessarily be accompanied by a marked surge in IPD. Second, because the findings suggest that some cases of IPD may be influenza-attributable, the extension of influenza vaccination to school-age children and young adults (a group of people at particular risk of IPD who are not normally vaccinated against influenza) could reduce the incidence of IPD as well as the incidence of influenza.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0015493
A related research article by the same authors evaluating links between respiratory viruses and invasive meningococcal disease can be found in PLoS One (e0015493)
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides information for patients and health professionals on all aspects of seasonal influenza and pneumococcal disease and pneumococcal vaccination
The UK National Health Service Choices website also provides information for patients about seasonal influenza and pneumococcal infection
MedlinePlus has links to further information about influenza and pneumococcal infections (in English and Spanish)
FluWatch is the Canadian national surveillance system for influenza
More information about the Toronto Invasive Bacterial Network is available
The International Association for Ecology and Health provides information on the physical environment and its influence on health
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001042
PMCID: PMC3110256  PMID: 21687693
24.  Invasive Pneumococcal Disease in Infants Younger Than 90 Days Before and After Introduction of PCV7 
Pediatrics  2013;132(1):e17-e24.
BACKGROUND:
Introduction of the heptavalent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7) changed the epidemiology of invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD). We evaluated the changes that occurred after PCV7 introduction among Utah infants aged 1 to 90 days, too young to be fully immunized.
METHODS:
We identified children <18 years with culture-confirmed IPD from 1997–2010. We analyzed demographic, clinical, and serotype data for infants aged 1–90 days. The pre– and post–vaccine introduction periods spanned 1997–2000 and 2001–2010, respectively.
RESULTS:
Of 513 children with IPD, 36 were 1 to 90 days and accounted for 7% of IPD cases in both the pre– and post–vaccine introduction period. The pre–vaccine IPD incidence rate was 5.0 per 100 000 live births, and was unchanged in the post–vaccine introduction period. IPD caused by PCV7 serotypes decreased by 74% (from 2.2 to 0.58 per 100 000), whereas non-vaccine serotype IPD increased by 57% (from 2.8 to 4.4 per 100 000). Sixteen infants (44%) required intensive care, and 3 (8%) died. Bacteremia without focus (56%) and meningitis (44%) were the predominant syndromes in the pre– and post–vaccine introduction periods, respectively. In the post–vaccine introduction period, serotype 7F was the most common serotype among infants and was responsible for 50% of meningitis.
CONCLUSIONS:
The incidence of IPD in Utah infants aged 1 to 90 days caused by PCV7 serotypes decreased after PCV7 introduction, but overall incidence was unchanged. In the post–vaccine introduction period, serotype 7F predominated in this age group and was associated with meningitis.
doi:10.1542/peds.2012-3900
PMCID: PMC3691535  PMID: 23733800
invasive pneumococcal disease; Streptococcus pneumoniae; infant; pneumococcal conjugate vaccine
25.  Pre-Vaccination Nasopharyngeal Pneumococcal Carriage in a Nigerian Population: Epidemiology and Population Biology 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(1):e30548.
Background
Introduction of pneumococcal vaccines in Nigeria is a priority as part of the Accelerated Vaccine Introduction Initiative (AVI) of the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI). However, country data on the burden of pneumococcal disease (IPD) is limited and coverage by available conjugate vaccines is unknown. This study was carried out to describe the pre vaccination epidemiology and population biology of pneumococcal carriage in Nigeria.
Methods
This was a cross sectional survey. Nasopharyngeal swabs (NPS) were obtained from a population sample in 14 contiguous peri-urban Nigerian communities. Data on demographic characteristics and risk factor for carriage were obtained from all study participants. Pneumococci isolated from NPS were characterised by serotyping, antimicrobial susceptibility and Multi Locus Sequencing Typing (MLST).
Results
The prevalence of pneumococcal carriage was 52.5%. Carriage was higher in children compared to adults (67.4% vs. 26%), highest (≈90%) in infants aged <9 months and reduced significantly with increasing age (P<0.001). Serotypes 19F (18.6%) and 6A (14.4%) were most predominant. Potential vaccine coverage was 43.8%, 45.0% and 62% for PCV-7, PCV-10 and PCV-13 respectively. There were 16 novel alleles, 72 different sequence types (STs) from the isolates and 3 Sequence Types (280, 310 and 5543) were associated with isolates of more than one serotype indicative of serotype switching. Antimicrobial resistance was high for cotrimoxazole (93%) and tetracycline (84%), a third of isolates had intermediate resistance to penicillin. Young age was the only risk factor significantly associated with carriage.
Conclusions
Pneumococcal carriage and serotype diversity is highly prevalent in Nigeria especially in infants. Based on the coverage of serotypes in this study, PCV-13 is the obvious choice to reduce disease burden and prevalence of drug resistant pneumococci. However, its use will require careful monitoring. Our findings provide sound baseline data for impact assessment following vaccine introduction in Nigeria.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0030548
PMCID: PMC3265474  PMID: 22291984

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