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1.  Antibody Persistence and Immunologic Memory after Sequential Pneumococcal Conjugate and Polysaccharide Vaccination in HIV-Infected Children on Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy 
Vaccine  2013;31(42):10.1016/j.vaccine.2013.08.002.
The capacity of pneumococcal vaccination to confer memory in HIV-infected children is critical for durable protection.
HIV-infected children 2–<19 years administered two doses of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7) and one dose of polysaccharide vaccine (PPV) on HAART were randomized four-five years later to receive a PCV7 or PPV booster. Total and high avidity antibodies to serotypes 1 (PPV) and 6B and 14 (PCV7 and PPV) were determined by ELISA. Memory was defined as persistence of ≥0.5 mcg/mL of serotype-specific antibody on day 0 or change from <0.5 mcg/mL to ≥0.5 mcg/mL between day 0 and week 1, or, ≥4-fold antibody rise between day 0 and week 1.
Prior to boosting, four to five years after the previous PCV7-PCV7-PPV series, geometric mean concentrations (GMCs) were 0.46 mcg/mL (serotype 1), 1.31 mcg/mL (serotype 6B), and 1.47 mcg/mL (serotype 14), with concentrations ≥0.5 mcg/mL in 41% (serotype 1) to 82% (serotypes 6B and 14). Memory based on antibody concentration ≥0.5 mcg/mL before or 1 week after boosting with PCV7 or PPV was demonstrated in 42–61% for serotype 1 and 87–94% for serotypes 6B and 14, with lower rates based on day 0 to week 1 ≥4-fold antibody rise (serotype 1, 3–13%; serotype 6B, 13–31%; serotype 14, 29–53%). Antibody concentrations post-boosting were greater following PCV7 than PPV for serotypes 6B and 14. Ratios of highly avid to total antibody pre- and post-boosting were 0.5–0.8. Predictors of memory included higher CD4% (nadir before HAART and at P1024 and P1061s entry), CD19% (at P1024 and P1061s entry), and antibody response after the PCV7-PCV7-PPV primary series and lower viral load (at P1024 and P1061s entry) and age.
Protective antibody concentrations, high avidity, and booster responses to PCV7 or PPV indicative of memory were present four-five years after PCV7-PCV7-PPV in HIV-infected children on HAART.
PMCID: PMC3825555  PMID: 23954381
pneumococcal; vaccine; memory; HIV; children
2.  A Randomized Clinical Trial Comparing Revaccination with Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV) to Polysaccharide Vaccine (PPV) among HIV-Infected Adults 
The Journal of infectious diseases  2010;202(7):1114-1125.
The risk of pneumococcal disease persists and antibody responses to revaccination with the 23-valent polysaccharide vaccine (PPV) are low among HIV-infected adults. We determined whether revaccination with the 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) would enhance these responses.
In a randomized clinical trial, we compared the immunogenicity of revaccination with PCV (n=131) or PPV (n=73) among HIV-infected adults (median CD4 count 533 cells/mm3) vaccinated with PPV 3–8 years earlier. HIV-uninfected adults (n=25) without prior pneumococcal vaccination received one dose of PCV. A positive response was defined as a ≥2-fold rise (baseline to day 60) in capsule-specific IgG with a post-vaccination level value ≥1000 ng/ml for at least 2 of the 4 serotypes.
HIV-infected persons demonstrated a higher frequency of positive antibody responses to PCV vs. PPV (57% vs. 36%, p=0.004) and greater IgG concentration mean changes from baseline to day 60 for serotypes 4, 9V, and 19F (all p<0.05), but not for serotype 14. However by day 180 both outcomes were similar. Responses to PCV were greater in frequency and magnitude for all serotypes in HIV-uninfected compared with those in HIV-infected adults.
Among persons with HIV infection, revaccination with PCV was only transiently more immunogenic than PPV, and responses were inferior to those in HIV-uninfected subjects with primary vaccination. Pneumococcal vaccines with more robust and sustained immunogenicity are needed for HIV-infected adults.
PMCID: PMC2932785  PMID: 20795819
3.  Serotype-Specific Changes in Invasive Pneumococcal Disease after Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine Introduction: A Pooled Analysis of Multiple Surveillance Sites 
PLoS Medicine  2013;10(9):e1001517.
In a pooled analysis of data collected from invasive pneumococcal disease surveillance databases, Daniel Feikin and colleagues examine serotype replacement after the introduction of 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7) into national immunization programs.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Vaccine-serotype (VT) invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) rates declined substantially following introduction of 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7) into national immunization programs. Increases in non-vaccine-serotype (NVT) IPD rates occurred in some sites, presumably representing serotype replacement. We used a standardized approach to describe serotype-specific IPD changes among multiple sites after PCV7 introduction.
Methods and Findings
Of 32 IPD surveillance datasets received, we identified 21 eligible databases with rate data ≥2 years before and ≥1 year after PCV7 introduction. Expected annual rates of IPD absent PCV7 introduction were estimated by extrapolation using either Poisson regression modeling of pre-PCV7 rates or averaging pre-PCV7 rates. To estimate whether changes in rates had occurred following PCV7 introduction, we calculated site specific rate ratios by dividing observed by expected IPD rates for each post-PCV7 year. We calculated summary rate ratios (RRs) using random effects meta-analysis. For children <5 years old, overall IPD decreased by year 1 post-PCV7 (RR 0·55, 95% CI 0·46–0·65) and remained relatively stable through year 7 (RR 0·49, 95% CI 0·35–0·68). Point estimates for VT IPD decreased annually through year 7 (RR 0·03, 95% CI 0·01–0·10), while NVT IPD increased (year 7 RR 2·81, 95% CI 2·12–3·71). Among adults, decreases in overall IPD also occurred but were smaller and more variable by site than among children. At year 7 after introduction, significant reductions were observed (18–49 year-olds [RR 0·52, 95% CI 0·29–0·91], 50–64 year-olds [RR 0·84, 95% CI 0·77–0·93], and ≥65 year-olds [RR 0·74, 95% CI 0·58–0·95]).
Consistent and significant decreases in both overall and VT IPD in children occurred quickly and were sustained for 7 years after PCV7 introduction, supporting use of PCVs. Increases in NVT IPD occurred in most sites, with variable magnitude. These findings may not represent the experience in low-income countries or the effects after introduction of higher valency PCVs. High-quality, population-based surveillance of serotype-specific IPD rates is needed to monitor vaccine impact as more countries, including low-income countries, introduce PCVs and as higher valency PCVs are used.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors’ Summary
Pneumococcal disease–a major cause of illness and death in children and adults worldwide–is caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae, a bacterium that often colonizes the nose and throat harmlessly. Unfortunately, S. pneumoniae occasionally spreads into the lungs, bloodstream, or covering of the brain, where it causes pneumonia, septicemia, and meningitis, respectively. These invasive pneumococcal diseases (IPDs) can usually be successfully treated with antibiotics but can be fatal. Consequently, it is better to avoid infection through vaccination. Vaccination primes the immune system to recognize and attack disease-causing organisms (pathogens) rapidly and effectively by exposing it to weakened or dead pathogens or to pathogen molecules that it recognizes as foreign (antigens). Because there are more than 90 S. pneumoniae variants or “serotypes,” each characterized by a different antigenic polysaccharide (complex sugar) coat, vaccines that protect against S. pneumoniae have to include multiple serotypes. Thus, the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine PCV7, which was introduced into the US infant immunization regimen in 2000, contains polysaccharides from the seven S. pneumoniae serotypes mainly responsible for IPD in the US at that time.
Why Was This Study Done?
Vaccination with PCV7 was subsequently introduced in several other high- and middle-income countries, and IPD caused by the serotypes included in the vaccine declined substantially in children and in adults (because of reduced bacterial transmission and herd protection) in the US and virtually all these countries. However, increases in IPD caused by non-vaccine serotypes occurred in some settings, presumably because of “serotype replacement.” PCV7 prevents both IPD caused by the serotypes it contains and carriage of these serotypes. Consequently, after vaccination, previously less common, non-vaccine serotypes can colonize the nose and throat, some of which can cause IPD. In July 2010, a World Health Organization expert consultation on serotype replacement called for a comprehensive analysis of the magnitude and variability of pneumococcal serotype replacement following PCV7 use to help guide the introduction of PCVs in low-income countries, where most pneumococcal deaths occur. In this pooled analysis of data from multiple surveillance sites, the researchers investigate serotype-specific changes in IPD after PCV7 introduction using a standardized approach.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers identified 21 databases that had data about the rate of IPD for at least 2 years before and 1 year after PCV7 introduction. They estimated whether changes in IPD rates had occurred after PCV7 introduction by calculating site-specific rate ratios–the observed IPD rate for each post-PCV7 year divided by the expected IPD rate in the absence of PCV7 extrapolated from the pre-PCV7 rate. Finally, they used a statistical approach (random effects meta-analysis) to estimate summary (pooled) rate ratios. For children under 5 years old, the overall number of observed cases of IPD in the first year after the introduction of PCV7 was about half the expected number; this reduction in IPD continued through year 7 after PCV7 introduction. Notably, the rate of IPD caused by the S. pneumonia serotypes in PCV7 decreased every year, but the rate of IPD caused by non-vaccine serotypes increased annually. By year 7, the number of cases of IPD caused by non-vaccine serotypes was 3-fold higher than expected, but was still smaller than the decrease in vaccine serotypes, thereby leading to the decrease in overall IPD. Finally, smaller decreases in overall IPD also occurred among adults but occurred later than in children 2 years or more after PCV7 introduction.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings show that consistent, rapid, and sustained decreases in overall IPD and in IPD caused by serotypes included in PCV7 occurred in children and thus support the use of PCVs. The small increases in IPD caused by non-vaccine serotypes that these findings reveal are likely to be the result of serotype replacement, but changes in antibiotic use and other factors may also be involved. These findings have several important limitations, however. For example, PCV7 is no longer made and extrapolation of these results to newer PCV10 and PCV13 formulations should be done cautiously. On the other hand, many of the serotypes causing serotype replacement after PCV7 are included in these higher valency vaccines. Moreover, because the data analyzed in this study mainly came from high-income countries, these findings may not be generalizable to low-income countries. Nevertheless, based on their analysis, the researchers make recommendations for the collection and analysis of IPD surveillance data that should allow valid interpretations of the effect of PCVs on IPD to be made, an important requisite for making sound policy decisions about vaccination against pneumococcal disease.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides information for patients and health professionals on all aspects of pneumococcal disease and pneumococcal vaccination, including personal stories
Public Health England provides information on pneumococcal disease and on pneumococcal vaccines
The World Health Organization also provides information on pneumococcal vaccines
The not-for-profit Immunization Action Coalition has information on pneumococcal disease, including personal stories
MedlinePlus has links to further information about pneumococcal infections (in English and Spanish)
The International Vaccine Access Center at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health has more information on introduction of pneumococcal conjugate vaccines in low-income countries
PMCID: PMC3782411  PMID: 24086113
4.  Serologic response to primary vaccination with 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine is better than with 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine in HIV-infected patients in the era of combination antiretroviral therapy 
Objectives: The objectives of this study were to compare the serologic responses at week 48 to primary vaccination with 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPV) vs. 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV); and to identify factors associated with serologic response in HIV-infected adult patients with access to combination antiretroviral therapy (cART).
Methods: One hundred and four CD4-matched pairs of HIV-infected patients who underwent primary pneumococcal vaccination with 23-valent PPV or 7-valent PCV were enrolled for determinations of anti-capsular antibody responses against four serotypes (6B, 14, 19F and 23F) at baseline, 24 weeks and 48 weeks following vaccination. Significant antibody responses were defined as 2-fold or greater increase of antibody levels at week 48 compared with baseline. The logistic regression model was used to determine the factors associated with serologic response to at least one and two serotypes.
Results: At week 48, patients who received PCV demonstrated a statistically significantly higher response rate to at least 2 serotypes than those who received PPV (37.5% vs. 20.2%, p = 0.006). In multivariate analysis, factors associated with significant antibody responses to at least one or two serotypes included receipt of PCV (adjusted odds ratio [AOR], 2.42 [95% CI, 1.23–4.78] and 3.58 [95% CI. 1.76–7.28], respectively), and undetectable plasma HIV RNA load (< 400 copies/ml) at vaccination (AOR, 1.47 [95% CI, 0.60–3.64] and 3.62 [95% CI, 1.11–11.81], respectively).
Conclusions: Primary vaccination with 7-valent PCV achieved a significantly better serologic responses to one or two out of the four serotypes studied at week 48 than with 23-valent PPV in HIV-infected patients in the cART era. Suppression of HIV replication when primary vaccination was administered was associated with better serologic responses.
PMCID: PMC3859763  PMID: 23291936
Streptococcus pneumoniae; pneumococcal conjugate vaccine; pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine; HIV infection; immunogenicity; combination antiretroviral therapy
5.  Effect of Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccination on Serotype-Specific Carriage and Invasive Disease in England: A Cross-Sectional Study 
PLoS Medicine  2011;8(4):e1001017.
A cross sectional study by Stefan Flasche and coworkers document the serotype replacement of Streptococcus pneumoniae that has occurred in England since the introduction of PCV7 vaccination.
We investigated the effect of the 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7) programme in England on serotype-specific carriage and invasive disease to help understand its role in serotype replacement and predict the impact of higher valency vaccines.
Methods and Findings
Nasopharyngeal swabs were taken from children <5 y old and family members (n = 400) 2 y after introduction of PCV7 into routine immunization programs. Proportions carrying Streptococcus pneumoniae and serotype distribution among carried isolates were compared with a similar population prior to PCV7 introduction. Serotype-specific case∶carrier ratios (CCRs) were estimated using national data on invasive disease. In vaccinated children and their contacts vaccine-type (VT) carriage decreased, but was offset by an increase in non-VT carriage, with no significant overall change in carriage prevalence, odds ratio 1.06 (95% confidence interval 0.76–1.49). The lower CCRs of the replacing serotypes resulted in a net reduction in invasive disease in children. The additional serotypes covered by higher valency vaccines had low carriage but high disease prevalence. Serotype 11C emerged as predominant in carriage but caused no invasive disease whereas 8, 12F, and 22F emerged in disease but had very low carriage prevalence.
Because the additional serotypes included in PCV10/13 have high CCRs but low carriage prevalence, vaccinating against them is likely to significantly reduce invasive disease with less risk of serotype replacement. However, a few serotypes with high CCRs could mitigate the benefits of higher valency vaccines. Assessment of the effect of PCV on carriage as well as invasive disease should be part of enhanced surveillance activities for PCVs.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Pneumococcal diseases—major causes of illness and death in children and adults worldwide—are caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae, a bacterium that often colonizes the nasopharynx (the area of the throat behind the nose). Carriage of S. pneumoniae bacteria does not necessarily cause disease. However, these bacteria can cause local, noninvasive diseases such as ear infections and sinusitis and, more rarely, they can spread into the lungs, the bloodstream, or the covering of the brain, where they cause pneumonia, septicemia, and meningitis, respectively. Although these invasive pneumococcal diseases (IPDs) can be successfully treated if administered early, they can be fatal. Consequently, it is better to protect people against IPDs through vaccination than risk infection. Vaccination primes the immune system to recognize and attack disease-causing organisms (pathogens) rapidly and effectively by exposing it to weakened or dead pathogens or to pathogen molecules (antigens) that it recognizes as foreign.
Why Was This Study Done?
There are more than 90 S. pneumoniae variants or “serotypes” characterized by different polysaccharide (complex sugar) coats, which trigger the immune response against S. pneumoniae and determine each serotype's propensity to cause IPD. The pneumococcal conjugate vaccine PCV7 contains polysaccharides (linked to a protein carrier) from the seven serotypes mainly responsible for IPD in the US in 2000 when routine childhood PCV7 vaccination was introduced in that country. PCV7 prevents both IPD caused by the serotypes it contains and carriage of these serotypes, which means that, after vaccination, previously uncommon, nonvaccine serotypes can colonize the nasopharynx. If these serotypes have a high invasiveness potential, then “serotype replacement” could reduce the benefits of vaccination. In this cross-sectional study (a study that investigates the relationship between a disease and an intervention in a population at one time point), the researchers investigate the effect of the UK PCV7 vaccination program (which began in 2006) on serotype-specific carriage and IPD in England to understand the role of PCV7 in serotype replacement and to predict the likely impact of vaccines containing additional serotypes (higher valency vaccines).
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers examined nasopharyngeal swabs taken from PCV7-vaccinated children and their families for S. pneumoniae, determined the serotype of any bacteria they found, and compared the proportion of people carrying S. pneumoniae (carrier prevalence) and the distribution of serotypes in this study population and in a similar population that was studied in 2000/2001, before the PCV vaccination program began. Overall, there was no statistically significant change in carrier prevalence, but carriage of vaccine serotypes decreased in vaccinated children and their contacts whereas carriage of nonvaccine serotypes increased. The serotype-specific case-to-carrier ratios (CCRs; a measure of serotype invasiveness that was estimated using national IPD data) of the replacing serotypes were generally lower than those of the original serotypes, which resulted in a net reduction in IPD in children. Moreover, before PCV7 vaccination began, PCV7-included serotypes were responsible for similar proportions of pneumococcal carriage and disease; afterwards, the additional serotypes present in the higher valency vaccines PVC10 and PVC13 were responsible for a higher proportion of disease than carriage. Finally, three serotypes not present in the higher valency vaccines with outstandingly high CCRs (high invasiveness potential) are identified.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings document the serotype replacement of S. pneumoniae that has occurred in England since the introduction of PCV7 vaccination and highlight the importance of assessing the effects of pneumococcal vaccines on carriage as well as on IPDs. Because the additional serotypes included in PCV10 and PCV13 have high CCRs but low carriage prevalence and because most of the potential replacement serotypes have low CCRs, these findings suggest that the introduction of higher valency vaccines should further reduce the occurrence of invasive disease with limited risk of additional serotype replacement. However, the emergence of a few serotypes that have high CCRs but are not included in PCV10 and PCV13 might mitigate the benefits of higher valency vaccines. In other words, although the recent introduction of PCV13 into UK vaccination schedules is likely to have an incremental benefit on the reduction of IPD compared to PCV7, this benefit might be offset by increases in the carriage of some high CCR serotypes. These serotypes should be considered for inclusion in future vaccines.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides information for patients and health professionals on all aspects of pneumococcal disease and pneumococcal vaccination
The US National Foundation for Infectious Diseases has a fact sheet on pneumococcal diseases
The UK Health Protection Agency provides information on pneumococcal disease and on pneumococcal vaccines
The World Health Organization also provides information on pneumococcal vaccines
MedlinePlus has links to further information about pneumococcal infections (in English and Spanish)
PMCID: PMC3071372  PMID: 21483718
6.  Serological response to 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine in children and adolescents with perinatally acquired HIV infection 
AIDS (London, England)  2014;28(14):2033-2043.
Children with perinatally acquired HIV (paHIV) remain at an increased risk of pneumococcal infection despite highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). Beyond infancy, responses to pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) remain under-investigated. There are currently no published data on serological response to 13-valent PCV (PCV13) in the HIV-infected populations.
We measured pneumococcal serotype-specific IgG in 48 paHIV-infected child patients (CP), 27 young adult healthy controls (AHC) and 30 child healthy controls (CHC). Opsonophagocytic assay (OPA) titres for three PCV13-exclusive serotypes were measured in a subset of children. Serotype-specific IgG was repeated 1 and 6 months following PCV13 vaccination of CP and AHC groups. OPA titres for four serotypes were measured at the 1-month time-point.
The majority of CP, CHC and AHC had serotype-specific IgG above 0.35 μg/ml at baseline, although OPA activity was undetectable for two of the three serotypes studied. Baseline IgG concentrations were significantly lower in CP than AHC for a proportion of serotypes and were strongly predictive of responses to vaccine. After adjusting for baseline, postvaccination IgG concentrations were comparable, although responses to some serotypes were impaired for CP. OPA correlated well with IgG after vaccination. Detectable HIV viral load was associated with significantly lower IgG concentration and OPA titre.
Children with paHIV mount a robust serological response to PCV13 for most but not all vaccine serotypes. Viral load suppression with HAART and higher baseline IgG concentration are associated with higher postvaccination antibody levels. This has implications for HAART treatment and vaccination practices.
PMCID: PMC4166014  PMID: 25222526
HIV; paediatrics; pneumococcal vaccines; serology; vaccination
7.  Response to Pneumococcal Polysaccharide and Protein-Conjugate Vaccines Singly or Sequentially in Adults who have Recovered from Pneumococcal Pneumonia 
The Journal of infectious diseases  2008;198(7):1019-1027.
Controversy persists over the benefits of pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPV) in at-risk adults. We studied PPV, protein-conjugate pneumococcal vaccine (PCV), or immunologic ‘priming’ with PCV followed by ‘boosting’ with PPV in adults who recovered from pneumococcal pneumonia.
Subjects received PPV followed in 6 months by PCV, or vice-versa. IgG to capsular polysaccharide and opsonophagocytic killing activity (OPK) were studied at baseline, 4–8 weeks and 6 months after each vaccination.
PPV and PCV stimulated similar IgG levels and OPK at 4–8 weeks. Six months post-PPV, antibody declined to baseline but remained modestly elevated post-PCV. PCV given 6 months post-PPV stimulated modest IgG increases that failed to reach post-PPV peaks. In contrast, PPV 6 months after PCV caused dramatic increases in IgG and OPK to all polysaccharides, consistent with a booster effect. Six months after the second vaccination, however, IgG and OPK in all patients fell precipitously, returning toward original baseline levels.
In high-risk subjects, the effect of PPV is short-lived; PCV stimulates a more prolonged response. PPV as a booster following PCV causes early antibody rises, but IgG declines rapidly thereafter, consistent with induction of suppressor cells or tolerance. Protein vaccines may be needed for high-risk adults.
PMCID: PMC2631393  PMID: 18710324
Pneumococcus; Polysaccharide; Vaccine; Protein-conjugate; Pneumonia
8.  Serotype-Specific Immune Unresponsiveness to Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine following Invasive Pneumococcal Disease▿  
Infection and Immunity  2008;76(11):5305-5309.
Following the introduction of the pneumococcal 7-valent conjugate vaccine (PCV7) into the routine infant immunization schedule in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, pneumococcal serotype-specific immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibody testing was offered as a clinical service to all children within the program with invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) to confirm an adequate antibody response to PCV7. As of March 2008, serum samples taken within 14 to 90 days of vaccination had been submitted from 107 children who had received one or more doses in the second year of life. Sera were assayed by a multiplexed microsphere assay incorporating both cell wall polysaccharide and serotype 22F adsorption. A protective serotype-specific antibody level was defined as a concentration of ≥0.35 μg/ml. Eight children failed to develop a response to their infecting serotype (6B [n = 4], 18C [n = 2], 4 [n = 1], and 14 [n = 1]), despite receiving at least three doses of PCV7 in the second year of life or two doses in the second and two or three in the first year of life. A further two children were nonresponsive to a serotype (6B) different than that causing disease. None of the 10 children had a clinical risk factor for IPD. Two had marginally low levels of total serum IgG but mounted adequate responses to the other six PCV serotypes. This serotype-specific unresponsiveness may reflect immune paralysis due to large pneumococcal polysaccharide antigen loads and/or a potential genetic basis for nonresponse to individual pneumococcal serotypes.
PMCID: PMC2573380  PMID: 18779338
9.  Quantitative relationship between anticapsular antibody measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay or radioimmunoassay and protection of mice against challenge with Streptococcus pneumoniae serotype 4. 
Infection and Immunity  1990;58(12):3871-3876.
We have recently shown that a substantial proportion of antibody to pneumococcal polysaccharide as measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) or radioimmunoassay is removed by adsorption with pneumococcal cell wall polysaccharide (CWPS). The present study was undertaken to validate the hypothesis that only serotype-specific antibody that remains after adsorption with CWPS provides protection against pneumococcal infection. Serum samples were obtained from human subjects before and after they had been vaccinated with pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine. Antibody to Streptococcus pneumoniae serotype 4 was measured by ELISA without adsorption or after adsorption of serum with CWPS. Groups of mice were injected with graded doses of serum and then challenged intraperitoneally with 10, 100, or 1,000 50% lethal doses (LD50) of S. pneumoniae serotype 4. Without adsorption, prevaccination sera from five healthy adults appeared to contain up to 33 micrograms of antibody to S. pneumoniae serotype 4 antigen per ml; adsorption with CWPS removed all detectable antibody, and pretreating mice with up to 0.1 ml of these sera (less than or equal to 3.3 micrograms of antibody) failed to protect them against challenge with 100 LD50. In contrast, postvaccination sera contained 2.9 to 30 micrograms of antibody per ml that was not removed by adsorption. Diluting sera to administer desired amounts of serotype-specific immunoglobulin G showed a significant relationship between protection and antibody remaining after adsorption (P less than 0.05 by linear regression analysis); 150 ng was uniformly protective against 1,000 LD50, and 50 ng was protective against 100 LD50. These studies have, for the first time, quantitated the amount of serotype-specific antibody that protects mice against challenge with S. pneumoniae type 4. In light of these observations, it is necessary to reassess current concepts regarding the presence of antipneumococcal antibody in the unvaccinated population, responses to pneumococcal vaccination, and protective levels of immunoglobulin G.
PMCID: PMC313748  PMID: 2254015
10.  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.
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.
Specific pneumococcal serotypes strongly and independently affect IPD associated mortality.
Editors' Summary
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
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
PMCID: PMC2680036  PMID: 19468297
11.  Safety and Immunogenicity of Neonatal Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccination in Papua New Guinean Children: A Randomised Controlled Trial 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(2):e56698.
Approximately 826,000 children, mostly young infants, die annually from invasive pneumococcal disease. A 6-10-14-week schedule of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) is efficacious but neonatal PCV may provide earlier protection and better coverage. We conducted an open randomized controlled trial in Papua New Guinea to compare safety, immunogenicity and priming for memory of 7-valent PCV (PCV7) given in a 0-1-2-month (neonatal) schedule with that of the routine 1-2-3-month (infant) schedule.
We randomized 318 infants at birth to receive PCV7 in the neonatal or infant schedule or no PCV7. All infants received 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPV) at age 9 months. Serotype-specific serum IgG for PCV7 (VT) serotypes and non-VT serotypes 2, 5 and 7F were measured at birth and 2, 3, 4, 9, 10 and 18 months of age. Primary outcomes were geometric mean concentrations (GMCs) and proportions with concentration ≥0.35 µg/ml of VT serotype-specific pneumococcal IgG at age 2 months and one month post-PPV.
We enrolled 101, 105 and 106 infants, respectively, into neonatal, infant and control groups. Despite high background levels of maternally derived antibody, both PCV7 groups had higher GMCs than controls at age 2 months for serotypes 4 (p<0.001) and 9V (p<0.05) and at age 3 months for all VTs except 6B. GMCs for serotypes 4, 9V, 18C and 19F were significantly higher (p<0.001) at age 2 months in the neonatal (one month post-dose2 PCV7) than in the infant group (one month post-dose1 PCV7). PPV induced significantly higher VT antibody responses in PCV7-primed than unprimed infants, with neonatal and infant groups equivalent. High VT and non-VT antibody concentrations generally persisted to age 18 months.
PCV7 is well-tolerated and immunogenic in PNG neonates and young infants and induces immunologic memory to PPV booster at age 9 months with antibody levels maintained to age 18 months.
Trial Registration NCT00219401NCT00219401
PMCID: PMC3579820  PMID: 23451070
12.  Serum IgM Antibodies Contribute to High Levels of Opsonophagocytic Activities in Toddlers Immunized with a Single Dose of the 9-Valent Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine 
Clinical and Vaccine Immunology : CVI  2012;19(10):1618-1623.
In immunogenicity trials of pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (PCVs), only IgG antibody concentrations to pneumococcal capsular polysaccharides (PPSs) are usually determined, along with the opsonophagocytic activity (OPA) of antipneumococcal antibodies. We aimed to determine the role of both IgG and IgM in OPA in toddlers receiving one dose of 9-valent PCV (PCV9). The IgG and IgM antibody concentrations to PPSs of serotypes 6A, 9V, 14, 19F, and 23F were measured by enzyme immunoassay in sera from toddlers (ages 18 to 35 months) 1 month after a single PCV9 dose. The OPA for the same serotypes was measured by multiplexed opsonophagocytosis assay (MOPA). Further, IgG and IgM concentrations and MOPA were measured to PPS of serotypes 6A, 14, and 19F in sera collected 12 months after vaccination. The detected MOPA titers were high in comparison to the IgG concentrations 1 month after immunization. The IgM concentrations were higher than IgG concentrations for serotypes 6A and 14 (P < 0.001) and as high as IgG for serotypes 9V, 19F, and 23F. Correlation of the IgM antibody concentrations with MOPA (r = 0.35 to 0.65) was stronger compared to that of the IgG antibodies (r = 0.07 to 0.41). The depletion of IgG antibodies in three sets of pooled sera only slightly decreased the OPA activity against serotype 14. At 12 months after immunization, 50 to 100% of serum samples still showed detectable MOPA activity against serotypes 6A, 14, and 19F. Our results suggest that IgM contributes to OPA 1 month after a single PCV9 vaccination in toddlers and that functionally active IgM and IgG antibodies persist for at least a year.
PMCID: PMC3485875  PMID: 22875604
13.  Immune response to pneumococcal polysaccharides 4 and 14 in elderly and young adults. I Antibody concentrations, avidity and functional activity 
Streptococcus pneumoniae is a serious worldwide pathogen and the focus of numerous vaccine development projects. Currently the most widely accepted surrogate marker for evaluating the efficacy of a given vaccine is to utilize ELISA. Measurement of antibody concentration by ELISA without reduction in cross-reactive antibodies causes an overestimation of antibody concentration and therefore protection, this is most notable in the aged, an at risk group for this infection. We compared the immune response to the pneumococcal polysaccharides (PPS) 4 and 14 of 20 young to 20 elderly adults. Pre-and post-vaccination IgG antibody concentrations and antibody avidity against PPS4 and PPS14 were measured using two different enzyme-linked immunosorbant assay (ELISA) absorption protocols. All sera were pre-absorbed with either cell-wall polysaccharide (CPS), or CPS and serotype 22F polysaccharide.
Pre- and post-vaccination IgG antibody concentrations for serotype 4, but not 14, were significantly lowered with the additional absorption with serotype 22F polysaccharide in both age groups. Young and elderly demonstrated a significant increase from pre- to post-immunization antibody concentration, using either absorption method; and opsonophagocytic antibody titers in response to both PPS4 and PPS14. The correlation coefficients between ELISA and opsonophagocytic assays were improved by additional absorption with serotype 22F in response to serotype 4, but not serotype 14 in all age groups. Opsonophagocytic antibody titers in a sub-group of elderly (>77 years of age) were significantly lower than the opsonophagocytic antibody concentrations in young adults.
These results suggest the importance of eliminating cross-reactive antibodies from ELISA measurements by absorption of serum and an age-related impairment in the antibody response to pneumococcal polysaccharides.
PMCID: PMC1184095  PMID: 15982420
14.  Pneumococcal Capsular Polysaccharide Preparations May Contain Non-C-Polysaccharide Contaminants That Are Immunogenic 
We measured the capacity to opsonize Streptococcus pneumoniae serotype 6B and estimated the concentration of immunoglobulin G anti-6B capsular polysaccharide (PS) antibodies in 25 pre- and postimmune sera from adults immunized with a pneumococcal PS vaccine. We first studied two postvaccination serum samples displaying less opsonophagocytic capacity than expected. The majority of anti-6B antibodies in the two samples reacted with the capsular PSs of several unrelated serotypes (2, 4, 9V, 19F, and 23F) and with the lysate of noncapsulated S. pneumoniae bacteria but not with C-PS. The non-type-specific antibodies accounted for at least one-half of anti-6B antibodies in 40% of prevaccination sera and 10% of postvaccination sera from adults. The non-type-specific antibodies could be demonstrated in the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) for pneumococcal antibodies to other serotypes (4, 9V, 18C, 19F, and 23F). The nonspecific antibodies appear to bind a contaminant(s) in the current preparations of capsular PS. ELISA for antibodies to pneumococcal capsules may not be serotype specific for some samples.
PMCID: PMC95719  PMID: 10391854
15.  The Association of Ethnicity with Antibody Responses to Pneumococcal Vaccination among Adults with HIV Infection 
Vaccine  2010;28(48):7583-7588.
Ethnicity may be associated with the incidence of pneumococcal infections and the frequency of protective vaccine responses. Earlier studies have suggested that HIV-infected persons of black ethnicity develop less robust immune responses to pneumococcal vaccination that may relate to their higher incidence of invasive disease. We evaluated the association of ethnicity with capsule-specific antibody responses to pneumococcal revaccination, with either the pneumococcal conjugate (PCV) or polysaccharide (PPV) vaccines among 188 HIV-infected adults. The proportion of the 77 African Americans (AA) and 111 Caucasians with comparable virologic and immunologic parameters who achieved a positive immune response (≥2-fold rise in capsule-specific IgG from baseline with post-vaccination value ≥1 µg/mL for ≥2 of 4 serotypes) at day 60 after revaccination was similar (43% vs. 49%, respectively, p=0.65). Results were also similar when vaccine types (PPV and PCV) were examined separately. Mean changes in log10 transformed IgG levels from baseline to days 60 and 180 post-vaccination were also not significantly different between AA and Caucasians. In summary, in this ethnically diverse cohort with equal access to care, we did not observe differential antibody responses between AA and Caucasian HIV-infected adults after pneumococcal revaccination.
PMCID: PMC2981674  PMID: 20887830
16.  Pneumococcal Type 22F Polysaccharide Absorption Improves the Specificity of a Pneumococcal-Polysaccharide Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay 
The specificity of the immune response to the 23-valent pneumococcal-polysaccharide (PS) vaccine in healthy adults and to a pneumococcal conjugate vaccine in infants was examined by measuring immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibody titers by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and the opsonophagocytosis assay. ELISA measures total antipneumococcal IgG titers including the titers of functional and nonfunctional antibodies, while the opsonophagocytosis assay measures only functional-antibody titers. Twenty-four pairs of pre- and post-pneumococcal vaccination sera from adults were evaluated (ELISA) for levels of IgG antibodies against serotypes 4, 6B, 9V, 14, 18C, 19F, and 23F. Twelve of the pairs were also examined (opsonophagocytosis assay) for their functional activities. The correlation coefficients between assay results for most types ranged from 0.75 to 0.90, but the correlation coefficient was only about 0.6 for serotypes 4 and 19F. The specificities of these antibodies were further examined by the use of competitive ELISA inhibition. A number of heterologous polysaccharides (types 11A, 12F, 15B, 22F, and 33A) were used as inhibitors. Most of the sera tested showed cross-reacting antibodies, in addition to those removed by pneumococcal C PS absorption. Our data suggest the presence of a common epitope that is found on most pneumococcal PS but that is not absorbed by purified C PS. Use of a heterologous pneumococcal PS (22F) to adsorb the antibodies to the common epitope increased the correlation between the IgG ELISA results and the opsonophagocytosis assay results. The correlation coefficient improve from 0.66 to 0.92 for type 4 and from 0.63 to 0.80 for type 19F. These common-epitope antibodies were largely absent in infants at 7 months of age, suggesting the carbohydrate nature of the epitope.
PMCID: PMC96047  PMID: 11238206
17.  Priming of Immunological Memory by Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine in Children Unresponsive to 23-Valent Polysaccharide Pneumococcal Vaccine 
Pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPV) is of limited immunogenicity in infants and immunocompromised patients. Our prospective randomized controlled trial investigated whether priming with pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) induced specific immunological memory in previously nonresponders to PPV. Of a total of 33 children (2 to 18 years) with polysaccharide-specific immunodeficiency (PSI), group A (n = 16) received two doses of 7-valent PCV in a 4- to 6-week interval, and a booster dose of 23-valent PPV after one year. Group B (n = 17) received two doses of PPV in a 1-year interval exclusively. Specific antibody concentrations for serotypes 4, 5, 6B, 9V, 14, 18C, 19F, and 23F were determined (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) before and at 7 and 28 days after administration of the PPV booster and compared to an opsonophagocytosis assay. Of group A, 64 to 100% had antibody concentrations of ≥1 μg/ml on day 28 after the booster versus 25 to 94% of group B. Group A had significantly higher antibody concentrations for all PCV-containing serotypes already on day 7, indicating early memory response. Antibody concentrations were in accordance with functional opsonic activity, although opsonic titers varied among individuals. Pneumococcal vaccination was well tolerated. The incidence of airway infections was reduced after priming with PCV (10/year for group A versus 15/year for group B). Following a PPV booster, even patients primarily not responding to PPV showed a rapid and more pronounced memory response after priming with PCV.
PMCID: PMC1247826  PMID: 16210486
18.  Superior Immune Response to Protein-Conjugate versus Free Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Vaccine in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease 
Rationale: Debate exists about the immunogenicity and protective efficacy of antibodies produced by the 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV23) in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The 7-valent diphtheria-conjugated pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PCV7) induces a more robust immune response than PPSV23 in healthy elderly adults.
Objectives: We hypothesized that serotype-specific IgG antibody concentration and functional antibody activity would be superior after PCV7 vaccination compared with PPSV23 in moderate to severe COPD. We also posited that older age and prior PPSV23 vaccination would be associated with reduced vaccine responsiveness.
Methods: One hundred twenty patients with COPD were randomized to PPSV23 (63 subjects) or PCV7 (57 subjects). IgG concentrations were determined by ELISA; functional antibody activity was assayed with a standardized opsonophagocytosis assay and reported as an opsonization killing index (OPK). Increases in serotype-specific IgG and OPK at 1 month post vaccination were compared within and between vaccine groups.
Measurements and Main Results: Both vaccines were well tolerated. Within each study group, postvaccination IgG and OPK were higher than baseline (P < 0.01) for all serotypes. Adjusted for baseline levels, postvaccination IgG was higher in the PCV7 group than the PPSV23 group for all seven serotypes, reaching statistical significance for five (P < 0.05). PCV7 resulted in a higher OPK for six of seven serotypes (statistically greater for four) compared with PPSV23. In multivariate analyses, younger age, vaccine naivety, and receipt of PCV7 were associated with increased OPK responses.
Conclusions: PCV7 induces a superior immune response at 1 month post vaccination compared with PPSV23 in COPD. Older age and prior PPSV23 reduce vaccine responsiveness.
Clinical trial registered with (NCT00457977).
PMCID: PMC2742743  PMID: 19556517
pneumococcal vaccines; vaccination, COPD; immune responses; immunization
19.  Safety and Immunogenicity of a 13-Valent Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine Compared to Those of a 7-Valent Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine Given as a Three-Dose Series with Routine Vaccines in Healthy Infants and Toddlers ▿ †  
A 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13) has been developed to improve protection against pneumococcal disease beyond that possible with the licensed 7-valent vaccine (PCV7). This study compared the safety and immunogenicity of PCV13 with those of PCV7 when given as part of the pediatric vaccination schedule recommended in Italy. A total of 606 subjects were randomly assigned to receive either PCV13 or PCV7 at 3, 5, and 11 months of age; all subjects concomitantly received diphtheria-tetanus-acellular pertussis-hepatitis B-inactivated polio-Haemophilus influenzae type B (DTaP-HBV-IPV/Hib) vaccine. Vaccine reactions were monitored. Antibody responses to DTaP-HBV-IPV/Hib antigens, serotype-specific anticapsular polysaccharide IgG responses, and antipneumococcal opsonophagocytic assay (OPA) activity were measured 1 month after the two-dose primary series and 1 month after the toddler dose. Overall, the safety profile of PCV13 was similar to that of PCV7. The response to DTaP-HBV-IPV/Hib antigens was substantially the same with both PCV13 and PCV7. PCV13 elicited antipneumococcal capsular IgG antibodies to all 13 vaccine serotypes, with notable increases in concentrations seen after the toddler dose. Despite a lower immunogenicity for serotypes 6B and 23F after the primary series of PCV13, responses to the seven common serotypes were comparable between the PCV13 and PCV7 groups when measured after the toddler dose. PCV13 also elicited substantial levels of OPA activity against all 13 serotypes following both the infant series and the toddler dose. In conclusion, PCV13 appeared comparable to PCV7 in safety profile and immunogenicity for common serotypes, demonstrated functional OPA responses for all 13 serotypes, and did not interfere with immune responses to concomitantly administered DTaP-HBV-IPV/Hib vaccine.
PMCID: PMC2884425  PMID: 20427630
20.  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.
PMCID: PMC3187044  PMID: 21852547
21.  Assignment of Weight-Based Immunoglobulin G1 (IgG1) and IgG2 Units in Antipneumococcal Reference Serum Lot 89-S(F) for Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Serotypes 1, 4, 5, 7F, 9V, and 18C 
Weight-based assignments for immunoglobulin G1 (IgG1) and IgG2 subclass antibodies to Streptococcus pneumoniae capsular polysaccharides (PnPs) in antipneumococcal standard reference serum lot 89-S (lot 89-S), also known as lot 89-SF, have been determined for serotypes 1, 4, 5, 7F, 9V, and 18C. This extends the usefulness of lot 89-S beyond the IgG1 and IgG2 subclass assignments for serotypes 3, 6B, 14, 19F, and 23F made previously (A. Soininen, H. Kayhty, I. Seppala, and T. Wuorimaa, Clin. Diagn. Lab. Immunol. 5:561-566, 1998) to cover 11 major serotypes associated with the highest percentage of pneumococcal disease worldwide. A method of equivalence of absorbances in enzyme immunosorbent assays was used to determine the IgG1 and IgG2 antibody concentrations for the additional serotypes in lot 89-S, based on the subclass values previously assigned for PnPs serotypes 6B, 14, and 23F. This cross-standardization method assures consistency with previous antibody assignments in that reference serum. The newly assigned subclass values for serotype 9V, and previously assigned values for serotype 14, were used to quantitate PnPs antibodies in sera from adult and pediatric subjects immunized with a pneumococcal conjugate vaccine. There was a predominance of IgG1 anti-PnPs antibodies in pediatric sera and IgG2 anti-PnPs antibodies in the adult sera. The IgG1 and IgG2 subclass assignments for the 11 PnPs serotypes in antipneumococcal standard reference serum lot 89-S are useful for quantitating and characterizing immune responses to pneumococcal infection and vaccination regimens.
PMCID: PMC540223  PMID: 15643011
22.  Antibody persistence in mothers one year after pneumococcal immunization in pregnancy 
Vaccine  2012;30(34):5063-5066.
Pneumococcal infections are a significant cause of morbidity and mortality, and young infants are particularly vulnerable to infection. Maternal immunization can protect infants, but there are limited data on the duration of pneumococcal vaccine antibody in pregnant women. We report on maternal antibody concentrations one year after immunization with 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide (23vPPS) vaccine.
The Mother's Gift study randomly assigned 340 pregnant Bangladeshi mothers between ages 18 and 36 to receive either inactivated influenza vaccine (Fluarix®) or the 23vPPS vaccine (Pneumovax®) during the third trimester. Sera were collected before immunization, at delivery, and at one year post-delivery. We determined anti-capsular IgG antibody to 9 pneumococcal serotypes by a multiplex Luminex ELISA. We report antibody geometric mean concentrations (GMCs) for 9 serotypes, 12 month/delivery geometric mean ratios (GMRs) and proportions seroprotected (>0.35 mcg/mL) in 23vPPS vaccine recipients and controls at delivery and at 12 months.
Among pneumococcal vaccinees, GMCs remained stable, with an overall 12 month/delivery GMR of 0.83 (95% CI, 0.75–0.92). In the control group, GMCs increased with a mean ratio of 1.98 (95% CI, 1.81–2.17; P < 0.0001). GMCs in these vaccinees did not decline significantly in the 12 months after antenatal immunization.
GMCs in these adult vaccinees and controls did not decline significantly in the 12 months after antenatal immunization. Interestingly, mothers who did not receive 23vPPS in pregnancy show a substantial increase of GMC for most serotypes in the first year after immunization. Further studies are needed to determine the need for repeat doses of 23vPPS vaccine in subsequent pregnancies more than a year later.
PMCID: PMC4133759  PMID: 22709949
Pneumococcal vaccine; Maternal immunization; Antibody titers
23.  VH3 Antibody Response to Immunization with Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Vaccine in Middle-Aged and Elderly Persons▿  
Pneumococcal disease continues to cause substantial morbidity and mortality among the elderly. Older adults may have high levels of anticapsular antibody after vaccination, but their antibodies show decreased functional activity. In addition, the protective effect of the pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPV) seems to cease as early as 3 to 5 years postvaccination. Recently, it was suggested that PPV elicits human antibodies that use predominantly VH3 gene segments and induce a repertoire shift with increased VH3 expression in peripheral B cells. Here we compared VH3-idiotypic antibody responses in middle-aged and elderly subjects receiving PPV as initial immunization or revaccination. We studied pre- and postvaccination sera from 36 (18 vaccine-naïve and 18 previously immunized subjects) middle-aged and 40 (22 vaccine-naïve and 18 previously immunized subjects) elderly adults who received 23-valent PPV. Concentrations of IgGs to four individual serotypes (6B, 14, 19F, and 23F) and of VH3-idiotypic antibodies (detected by the monoclonal antibody D12) to the whole pneumococcal vaccine were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). PPV elicited significant IgG and VH3-idiotypic antibody responses in middle-aged and elderly subjects, regardless of whether they were vaccine naïve or undergoing revaccination. Age did not influence the magnitude of the antibody responses, as evidenced by similar postvaccination IgG and VH3 antibody levels in both groups, even after stratifying by prior vaccine status. Furthermore, we found similar proportions (around 50%) of elderly and middle-aged subjects experiencing 2-fold increases in VH3 antibody titers after vaccination. Age or repeated immunization does not appear to affect the VH3-idiotypic immunogenicity of PPV among middle-aged and elderly adults.
PMCID: PMC3067391  PMID: 21228144
24.  The Differential Impact of Coadministered Vaccines, Geographic Region, Vaccine Product and Other Covariates on Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine Immunogenicity 
The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal  2013;33(Suppl 2 Optimum Dosing of Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine For Infants 0 A Landscape Analysis of Evidence Supportin g Different Schedules):S130-S139.
Antipneumococcal capsular polysaccharide antibody concentrations are used as predictors of vaccine efficacy against vaccine serotype (ST) pneumococcal disease among infants. While pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (PCV) are recommended globally, factors associated with optimal PCV immune response are not well described. We aimed to systematically assess local setting factors, beyond dosing schedule, which may affect PCV antibody levels.
We conducted a literature review of PCV immunogenicity, abstracting data from published reports, unpublished sources, and conference abstracts from 1994 to 2010 (and ad hoc 2011 reports). Studies included in this analysis evaluated ≥ 2 primary doses of PCV before 6 months of age in non–high-risk populations, used 7-valent or higher PCV products (excluding Aventis-Pasteur and Merck products) and provided information on geometric mean concentration (GMC) for STs 1, 5, 6B, 14, 19F or 23F. Using random effects meta-regression, we assessed the impact of geographic region, coadministered vaccines and PCV product on postprimary GMC, adjusting for dosing schedule and ELISA laboratory method.
Of 12,980 citations reviewed, we identified 103 vaccine study arms for this analysis. Children in studies from Asia, Africa and Latin America had significantly higher GMC responses compared with those in studies from Europe and North America. Coadministration with acellular pertussis DTP compared with whole-cell DTP had no effect on PCV immunogenicity except for ST14, where GMCs were higher when coadministered with acellular pertussis DTP. Vaccine product, number of PCV doses, dosing interval, age at first dose and ELISA laboratory method also affected the GMC.
PCV immunogenicity is associated with geographic region and vaccine product; however, the associations and magnitude varied by ST. Consideration of these factors is essential when comparing PCV immunogenicity results between groups and should be included in the evidence base when selecting optimal PCV vaccine schedules in specific settings.
PMCID: PMC3944480  PMID: 24336055
pneumococcal conjugate vaccine; immunogenicity; immunization
25.  Effects of Community-Wide Vaccination with PCV-7 on Pneumococcal Nasopharyngeal Carriage in The Gambia: A Cluster-Randomized Trial 
PLoS Medicine  2011;8(10):e1001107.
In a cluster-randomized trial conducted in Gambian villages, Anna Roca and colleagues find that vaccination of children with pneumococcal conjugate vaccines reduced vaccine-type pneumococcal carriage even among nonvaccinated older children and adults.
Introduction of pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (PCVs) of limited valency is justified in Africa by the high burden of pneumococcal disease. Long-term beneficial effects of PCVs may be countered by serotype replacement. We aimed to determine the impact of PCV-7 vaccination on pneumococcal carriage in rural Gambia.
Methods and Findings
A cluster-randomized (by village) trial of the impact of PCV-7 on pneumococcal nasopharyngeal carriage was conducted in 21 Gambian villages between December 2003 to June 2008 (5,441 inhabitants in 2006). Analysis was complemented with data obtained before vaccination. Because efficacy of PCV-9 in young Gambian children had been shown, it was considered unethical not to give PCV-7 to young children in all of the study villages. PCV-7 was given to children below 30 mo of age and to those born during the trial in all study villages. Villages were randomized (older children and adults) to receive one dose of PCV-7 (11 vaccinated villages) or meningococcal serogroup C conjugate vaccine (10 control villages). Cross-sectional surveys (CSSs) to collect nasopharyngeal swabs were conducted before vaccination (2,094 samples in the baseline CSS), and 4–6, 12, and 22 mo after vaccination (1,168, 1,210, and 446 samples in CSS-1, -2, and -3, respectively).
A time trend analysis showed a marked fall in the prevalence of vaccine-type pneumococcal carriage in all age groups following vaccination (from 23.7% and 26.8% in the baseline CSS to 7.1% and 8.5% in CSS-1, in vaccinated and control villages, respectively). The prevalence of vaccine-type pneumococcal carriage was lower in vaccinated than in control villages among older children (5 y to <15 y of age) and adults (≥15 y of age) at CSS-2 (odds ratio [OR] = 0.15 [95% CI 0.04–0.57] and OR = 0.32 [95% CI 0.10–0.98], respectively) and at CSS-3 (OR = 0.37 [95% CI 0.15–0.90] for older children, and 0% versus 7.6% for adults in vaccinated and control villages, respectively). Differences in the prevalence of non-vaccine-type pneumococcal carriage between vaccinated and control villages were small.
Vaccination of Gambian children reduced vaccine-type pneumococcal carriage across all age groups, indicating a “herd effect” in non-vaccinated older children and adults. No significant serotype replacement was detected.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
The prevention of pneumococcal disease, especially in children in developing countries, is a major international public health priority. Despite all the international attention on the UN's Millennium Development Goal 4—to reduce deaths in children under five years by two-thirds between 1990 and 2015—pneumonia, sepsis, and meningitis together compose more than 25% of the 10 million deaths occurring in children less than five years of age. Streptococcus pneumoniae is a leading bacterial cause of these diseases, and the World Health Organization estimates that approximately 800,000 children die each year of invasive pneumococcal disease.
Pneumococcal conjugate vaccines are currently available and protect against the serotypes that most commonly cause invasive pneumococcal disease in young children in North America and Europe. Such vaccines have been highly successful in reducing the incidence of invasive pneumococcal disease in both vaccinated children and in the non-vaccinated older population by reducing nasopharyngeal carriage (presence of pneumococcal bacteria in the back of the nose) in vaccinated infants, resulting in decreased transmission to contacts—the so-called herd effect. However, few countries with the highest burden of invasive pneumococcal disease, especially those in sub-Saharan Africa, have introduced the vaccine into their national immunization programs.
Why Was This Study Done?
The features of pneumococcal nasopharyngeal carriage and invasive pneumococcal disease in sub-Saharan Africa are different than in other regions. Therefore, careful evaluation of the immune effects of vaccination requires long-term, longitudinal studies. As an alternative to such long-term observational studies, and to anticipate the potential long-term effects of the introduction of pneumococcal conjugate vaccination in sub-Saharan Africa, the researchers conducted a cluster-randomized (by village) trial in The Gambia in which the whole populations of some villages were immunized with the vaccine PCV-7, and other villages received a control.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
With full consent from communities, the researchers randomized 21 similar villages in a rural region of western Gambia to receive pneumococcal conjugate vaccine or a control—meningococcal serogroup C conjugated vaccine, which is unlikely to affect pneumococcal carriage rates. For ethical reasons, the researchers only randomized residents aged over 30 months—all young infants received PCV-7, as a similar vaccine had already been shown to be effective in young infants. Before immunization began, the researchers took nasopharyngeal swabs from a random selection of village residents to determine the baseline pneumococcal carriage rates of both the serotypes of pneumococci covered by the vaccine (vaccine types, VTs) and the serotypes of pneumococci not covered in the vaccine (non-vaccine types, NVTs). The researchers then took nasopharyngeal swabs from a random sample of 1,200 of village residents in both groups of villages in cross-sectional surveys at 4–6, 12, and 22 months after vaccination. Villagers and laboratory staff were unaware of which vaccine was which (that is, they were blinded).
Before immunization, the overall prevalence of pneumococcal carriage in both groups was high, at 71.1%, and decreased with age. After vaccination, the overall prevalence of pneumococcal carriage in all three surveys was similar between vaccinated and control villages, showing a marked fall. However, the prevalence of carriage of VT pneumococci was significantly lower in vaccinated than in control villages in all surveys for all age groups. The prevalence of carriage of NVT pneumococci was similar in vaccinated and in control villages, except for a slightly higher prevalence of NVT pneumococci among vaccinated communities in adults at 4–6 months after vaccination. The researchers also found that the overall prevalence of pneumococcal carriage fell markedly after vaccination and reached minimum levels at 12 months in both study arms and in all age groups.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings show that vaccination of young Gambian children reduced carriage of VT pneumococci in vaccinated children but also in vaccinated and non-vaccinated older children and adults, revealing a potential herd effect from vaccination of young children. Furthermore, the immunological pressure induced by vaccinating whole communities did not lead to a community-wide increase in carriage of NVT pneumococci during a two-year period after vaccination. The researchers plan to conduct more long-term follow-up studies to determine nasopharyngeal carriage in these communities.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at
The World Health Organization has information about pneumococcus
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides information about pneumococcal conjugate vaccination
PMCID: PMC3196470  PMID: 22028630

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