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1.  Epidemiology of nasopharyngeal carriage of respiratory bacterial pathogens in children and adults: cross-sectional surveys in a population with high rates of pneumococcal disease 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2010;10:304.
Background
To determine the prevalence of carriage of respiratory bacterial pathogens, and the risk factors for and serotype distribution of pneumococcal carriage in an Australian Aboriginal population.
Methods
Surveys of nasopharyngeal carriage of Streptococcus pneumoniae, non-typeable Haemophilus influenzae, and Moraxella catarrhalis were conducted among adults (≥16 years) and children (2 to 15 years) in four rural communities in 2002 and 2004. Infant seven-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (7PCV) with booster 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine was introduced in 2001. Standard microbiological methods were used.
Results
At the time of the 2002 survey, 94% of eligible children had received catch-up pneumococcal vaccination. 324 adults (538 examinations) and 218 children (350 examinations) were enrolled. Pneumococcal carriage prevalence was 26% (95% CI, 22-30) among adults and 67% (95% CI, 62-72) among children. Carriage of non-typeable H. influenzae among adults and children was 23% (95% CI, 19-27) and 57% (95% CI, 52-63) respectively and for M. catarrhalis, 17% (95% CI, 14-21) and 74% (95% CI, 69-78) respectively. Adult pneumococcal carriage was associated with increasing age (p = 0.0005 test of trend), concurrent carriage of non-typeable H. influenzae (Odds ratio [OR] 6.74; 95% CI, 4.06-11.2) or M. catarrhalis (OR 3.27; 95% CI, 1.97-5.45), male sex (OR 2.21; 95% CI, 1.31-3.73), rhinorrhoea (OR 1.66; 95% CI, 1.05-2.64), and frequent exposure to outside fires (OR 6.89; 95% CI, 1.87-25.4). Among children, pneumococcal carriage was associated with decreasing age (p < 0.0001 test of trend), and carriage of non-typeable H. influenzae (OR 9.34; 95% CI, 4.71-18.5) or M. catarrhalis (OR 2.67; 95% CI, 1.34-5.33). Excluding an outbreak of serotype 1 in children, the percentages of serotypes included in 7, 10, and 13PCV were 23%, 23%, and 29% (adults) and 22%, 24%, and 40% (2-15 years). Dominance of serotype 16F, and persistent 19F and 6B carriage three years after initiation of 7PCV is noteworthy.
Conclusions
Population-based carriage of S. pneumoniae, non-typeable H. influenzae, and M. catarrhalis was high in this Australian Aboriginal population. Reducing smoke exposure may reduce pneumococcal carriage. The indirect effects of 10 or 13PCV, above those of 7PCV, among adults in this population may be limited.
doi:10.1186/1471-2334-10-304
PMCID: PMC2974682  PMID: 20969800
2.  Comparison of the Prevalence of Common Bacterial Pathogens in the Oropharynx and Nasopharynx of Gambian Infants 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(9):e75558.
Background
CRM- based pneumococcal conjugate vaccines generally have little impact on the overall prevalence of pneumococcal carriage because of serotype replacement. In contrast, protein vaccines could substantially reduce the overall prevalence of pneumococcal carriage with potential microbiological and clinical consequences. Therefore, trials of pneumococcal protein vaccines need to evaluate their impact on carriage of other potentially pathogenic bacteria in addition to the pneumococcus.
Methods
As a prelude to a trial of an investigational pneumococcal vaccine containing pneumococcal polysaccharide conjugates and pneumococcal proteins, the prevalence of carriage of Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, Moraxella species and Staphylococcus aureus in the nasopharynx of 1030 Gambian infants (median age 35 weeks) was determined. An oropharyngeal swab was obtained at the same time from the first 371 infants enrolled. Standard microbiological techniques were used to evaluate the bacterial flora of the pharynx and to compare that found in the oropharynx and in the nasopharynx.
Results
The overall pneumococcal carriage rate was high. Isolation rates of S. pneumoniae and Moraxella species were significantly higher using nasopharyngeal rather than oropharyngeal swabs (76.1% [95% CI 73.4%,78.7%] vs. 21.3% [95% CI 17.2%,25.8%] and 48.9% [95% CI 45.8%, 52.0%] vs. 20.5% % [95% CI 16.5%,25.0%] respectively). In contrast, S. aureus and H. influenzae were isolated more frequently from oropharyngeal than from nasopharyngeal swabs (65.0% [95% CI 59.9%, 69.8%] vs. 33.6% [95% CI 30.7%, 36.5%] and 31.8% [95% CI 16.5%, 25.0%] vs. 22.4% [95% CI 19.9%, 25.1%] respectively). No group A β haemolytic streptococci were isolated.
Conclusion
Collection of an oropharyngeal swab in addition to a nasopharyngeal swab will provide little additional information on the impact of a novel pneumococcal vaccine on pneumococcal carriage but it might provide additional, valuable information on the impact of the vaccine on the overall microbiota of the pharynx.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0075558
PMCID: PMC3781055  PMID: 24086570
3.  Pneumococcal Nasopharyngeal Carriage following Reduced Doses of a 7-Valent Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine and a 23-Valent Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Vaccine Booster▿ †  
Clinical and Vaccine Immunology : CVI  2010;17(12):1970-1976.
This study was conducted to evaluate the effect of a reduced-dose 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) primary series followed by a 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (23vPPS) booster on nasopharyngeal (NP) pneumococcal carriage. For this purpose, Fijian infants aged 6 weeks were randomized to receive 0, 1, 2, or 3 PCV doses. Within each group, half received 23vPPS at 12 months. NP swabs were taken at 6, 9, 12, and 17 months and were cultured for Streptococcus pneumoniae. Isolates were serotyped by multiplex PCR and a reverse line blot assay. There were no significant differences in PCV vaccine type (VT) carriage between the 3- and 2-dose groups at 12 months. NP VT carriage was significantly higher (P, <0.01) in the unvaccinated group than in the 3-dose group at the age of 9 months. There appeared to be a PCV dose effect in the cumulative proportion of infants carrying the VT, with less VT carriage occurring with more doses of PCV. Non-PCV serotype (NVT) carriage rates were similar for all PCV groups. When groups were pooled by receipt or nonreceipt of 23vPPS at 12 months, there were no differences in pneumococcal, VT, or NVT carriage rates between the 2 groups at the age of 17 months. In conclusion, there appeared to be a PCV dose effect on VT carriage, with less VT carriage occurring with more doses of PCV. By the age of 17 months, NVT carriage rates were similar for all groups. 23vPPS had no impact on carriage, despite the substantial boosts in antibody levels.
doi:10.1128/CVI.00117-10
PMCID: PMC3008188  PMID: 20943882
4.  Nasopharyngeal flora in children with acute otitis media before and after implementation of 7 valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine in France 
Background
Several studies have investigated the impact of 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7) on pneumococcal (Sp) and staphylococcal (Sa) nasopharyngeal (NP) carriage. Few have investigated the impact on Haemophilus influenzae (Hi) and Moraxella catarrhalis (Mc) carriage. We aimed to compare the NP carriage rates in young children with acute otitis media (AOM) before and after PCV7 implementation in France.
Methods
Prior to PCV7 implementation, we performed 4 successive randomized trials with NP samples. These studies compared several antibiotic regimens for treating AOM in young children (6 to 30 months). After PCV7 implementation, to assess the impact of the vaccination program on NP flora, young children with AOM were enrolled in a prospective surveillance study. In each study, we obtained an NP sample to analyze the carriage rates of Sp, Hi, Mc and Sa and the factors influencing the carriage. Standardized history and physical examination findings were recorded; the methods used for NP swabs (sampling and cultures) were the same in all studies.
Results
We enrolled 4,405 children (mean age 13.9 months, median 12.8). Among the 2,598 children enrolled after PCV7 implementation, 98.3% were vaccinated with PCV7. In comparing the pre- and post-PCV7 periods, we found a slight but non-significant decrease in carriage rates of pneumococcus (AOR = 0.85 [0.69;1.05]), H. influenzae (AOR = 0.89 [0.73;1.09]) and S. aureus (AOR = 0.92 [0.70;1.19]). By contrast, the carriage rate of M. catarrhalis increased slightly but not significantly between the 2 periods (AOR = 1.08 [0.95;1.2]). Among Sp carriers, the proportion of PCV7 vaccine types decreased from 66.6% to 10.7% (P < 0.001), penicillin intermediate-resistant strains increased from 30.3% to 43.4% (P < 0.001), and penicillin-resistant strains decreased greatly from 22.8% to 3.8% (P < 0.001). The proportion of Hi ß-lactamase-producing strains decreased from 38.6% to 17.1% (P < 0.001).
Conclusion
The carriage rates of otopathogen species (Sp, Hi, Mc) and Sa did not significantly change in children with AOM after PCV7 implementation in France. However, we observed significant changes in carriage rates of PCV7 vaccine serotypes and penicillin non-susceptible Sp.
doi:10.1186/1471-2334-12-52
PMCID: PMC3323894  PMID: 22397629
5.  Characteristics of Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, and Moraxella catarrhalis Isolated from the Nasopharynges of Asymptomatic Children and Molecular Analysis of S. pneumoniae and H. influenzae Strain Replacement in the Nasopharynx 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2004;42(9):3942-3949.
Nasopharyngeal carriage of Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, and Moraxella catarrhalis in 226 children in different settings (in a crèche [day care center], in an orphanage, and at home) during two seasons (winter and spring) was studied. The rates of carriage of S. pneumoniae and H. influenzae were markedly higher in the crèche and in the orphanage than in the home setting (e.g., 56.5, 63.3, and 25.9%, respectively, for S. pneumoniae in winter). Approximately 80% of the S. pneumoniae isolates identified in the crèche and in the orphanage belonged to the serotypes represented in the seven-valent pneumococcal vaccine, and 4.4% of the children were colonized by H. influenzae type b. Almost all H. influenzae isolates were fully susceptible to the antimicrobial agents tested, and only five (3.6%) produced β-lactamase; in contrast, 100% of the M. catarrhalis isolates were β-lactamase positive. Among S. pneumoniae isolates, 36.2% were nonsusceptible to penicillin (PNSP) and 11.8% were fully resistant to penicillin (PRP). All PNSP isolates were obtained from children at the crèche and at the orphanage but not among children brought up at home, and all PRP isolates showed a multiresistant phenotype. Colonization by PRP isolates correlated well with prior treatment with β-lactams. For the majority of children colonized at both sampling times, strain replacement of S. pneumoniae and H. influenzae was observed; long-term colonization by a single strain was rare.
doi:10.1128/JCM.42.9.3942-3949.2004
PMCID: PMC516321  PMID: 15364973
6.  Seven-Valent Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine and Nasopharyngeal Microbiota in Healthy Children 
Emerging Infectious Diseases  2014;20(2):201-210.
Careful monitoring of vaccines against common bacterial colonizers is needed.
Seven-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV-7) is effective against vaccine serotype disease and carriage. Nevertheless, shifts in colonization and disease toward nonvaccine serotypes and other potential pathogens have been described. To understand the extent of these shifts, we analyzed nasopharyngeal microbial profiles of 97 PCV-7–vaccinated infants and 103 control infants participating in a randomized controlled trial in the Netherlands. PCV-7 immunization resulted in a temporary shift in microbial community composition and increased bacterial diversity. Immunization also resulted in decreased presence of the pneumococcal vaccine serotype and an increase in the relative abundance and presence of nonpneumococcal streptococci and anaerobic bacteria. Furthermore, the abundance of Haemophilus and Staphylococcus bacteria in vaccinees was increased over that in controls. This study illustrates the much broader effect of vaccination with PCV-7 on the microbial community than currently assumed, and highlights the need for careful monitoring when implementing vaccines directed against common colonizers.
doi:10.3201/eid2002.131220
PMCID: PMC3901477  PMID: 24447437
seven-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine; PCV-7; pneumococcal conjugate vaccine; pneumococcal conjugate vaccination; pneumococci; bacteria; respiratory tract; colonization; randomized controlled trial; nasopharyngeal microbiota; children
7.  Virulence of Streptococcus pneumoniae serotype 6C in experimental otitis media 
Increases in colonization with serotypes of Streptococcus pneumoniae not contained within the 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) have been reported among children following introduction. Serotype 6C has emerged as prevalent in nasopharyngeal colonization and acute otitis media (AOM), though it is uncommonly recovered from children with invasive pneumococcal disease. Vaccine serotypes within PCV7 have been replaced by nonvaccine serotypes without significant changes in the overall carriage rate. We hypothesize 1) that serotypes vary in their ability to evade host defenses and establish AOM following colonization and 2) the observed reduction in pneumococcal otitis results from a reduced disease potential by some ‘replacement serotypes’. We compared the capacity of S. pneumoniae serotypes 6C and 19A to produce experimental otitis media (EOM) in a chinchilla model. The proportion of chinchillas that developed culture positive EOM and density of middle ear infection was evaluated. EOM was found in 28/82 (34%) ears challenged with 6C compared to 13/18(72.2%) with 19A [p=0.0003]. When disease due to 6C did occur, it was characterized by lowdensity infection. Our findings demonstrate that challenge with serotype 6C results in EOM less frequently than 19A. These data support the need for greater knowledge regarding differences among serotypes to produce AOM.
doi:10.1016/j.micinf.2012.02.008
PMCID: PMC3382049  PMID: 22414497
Streptococcus pneumoniae; complement; virulence
8.  Age-Specific Cluster of Cases of Serotype 1 Streptococcus pneumoniae Carriage in Remote Indigenous Communities in Australia ▿  
Seven-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccination commenced in 2001 for Australian indigenous infants. Pneumococcal carriage surveillance detected substantial replacement with nonvaccine serotypes and a cluster of serotype 1 carriage. Our aim was to review Streptococcus pneumoniae serotype 1 carriage and invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) data for this population and to analyze serotype 1 isolates. Carriage data were collected between 1992 and 2004 in the Darwin region, one of the five regions in the Northern Territory. Carriage data were also collected in 2003 and 2005 from four regions in the Northern Territory. Twenty-six cases of serotype 1 IPD were reported from 1994 to 2007 in the Northern Territory. Forty-four isolates were analyzed by BOX typing and 11 by multilocus sequence typing. In the Darwin region, 26 children were reported carrying serotype 1 (ST227) in 2002 but not during later surveillance. Scattered cases of serotype 1 carriage were noted in two other regions. Cocolonization of serotype 1 with other pneumococcal serotypes was common (34% serotype 1-positive swabs). In conclusion, pneumococcal carriage studies detected intermittent serotype 1 carriage and an ST227 cluster in children in indigenous communities in the Northern Territory of Australia. There was no apparent increase in serotype 1 IPD during this time. The rate of serotype 1 cocolonization with other pneumococcal serotypes suggests that carriage of this serotype may be underestimated.
doi:10.1128/CVI.00283-08
PMCID: PMC2643542  PMID: 19091995
9.  Early acquisition and high nasopharyngeal co-colonisation by Streptococcus pneumoniae and three respiratory pathogens amongst Gambian new-borns and infants 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2011;11:175.
Background
Although Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), Staphylococcus aureus and Moraxella catarrhalis are important causes of invasive and mucosal bacterial disease among children, co-carriage with Streptococcus pneumoniae during infancy has not been determined in West Africa.
Methods
Species specific PCR was applied to detect each microbe using purified genomic DNA from 498 nasopharyngeal (NP) swabs collected from 30 Gambian neonates every two weeks from 0 to 6 months and bi-monthly up to 12 months.
Results
All infants carried S. pneumoniae, H. influenzae and M. catarrhalis at several time points during infancy. S.pneumoniae co-colonized the infant nasopharynx with at least one other pathogen nine out of ten times. There was early colonization of the newborns and neonates, the average times to first detection were 5, 7, 3 and 14 weeks for S. pneumoniae, H. influenzae, M. catarrhalis and S. aureus respectively. The prevalence of S. pneumoniae, H. influenzae and M. catarrhalis increased among the neonates and exceeded 80% by 13, 15 and 23 weeks respectively. In contrast, the prevalence of S. aureus decreased from 50% among the newborns to 20% amongst nine-week old neonates. S. pneumoniae appeared to have a strong positive association with H. influenzae (OR 5.03; 95% CI 3.02, 8.39; p < 0.01) and M. catarrhalis (OR 2.20; 95% CI 1.29; p < 0.01) but it was negatively associated with S. aureus (OR 0.53; 95% CI 0.30, 0.94; p = 0.03).
Conclusion
This study shows early acquisition and high co-carriage of three important respiratory pathogens with S. pneumoniae in the nasopharyngeal mucosa among Gambian neonates and infants. This has important potential implications for the aetiology of respiratory polymicrobial infections, biofilm formation and vaccine strategies.
doi:10.1186/1471-2334-11-175
PMCID: PMC3129300  PMID: 21689403
Nasopharyngeal; PCR; respiratory pathogens
10.  Impact of Experimental Human Pneumococcal Carriage on Nasopharyngeal Bacterial Densities in Healthy Adults 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(6):e98829.
Colonization of the nasopharynx by Streptococcus pneumoniae is a necessary precursor to pneumococcal diseases that result in morbidity and mortality worldwide. The nasopharynx is also host to other bacterial species, including the common pathogens Staphylococcus aureus, Haemophilus influenzae, and Moraxella catarrhalis. To better understand how these bacteria change in relation to pneumococcal colonization, we used species-specific quantitative PCR to examine bacterial densities in 52 subjects 7 days before, and 2, 7, and 14 days after controlled inoculation of healthy human adults with S. pneumoniae serotype 6B. Overall, 33 (63%) of subjects carried S. pneumoniae post-inoculation. The baseline presence and density of S. aureus, H. influenzae, and M. catarrhalis were not statistically associated with likelihood of successful pneumococcal colonization at this study’s sample size, although a lower rate of pneumococcal colonization in the presence of S. aureus (7/14) was seen compared to that in the presence of H. influenzae (12/16). Among subjects colonized with pneumococci, the number also carrying either H. influenzae or S. aureus fell during the study and at 14 days post-inoculation, the proportion carrying S. aureus was significantly lower among those who were colonized with S. pneumoniae (p = 0.008) compared to non-colonized subjects. These data on bacterial associations are the first to be reported surrounding experimental human pneumococcal colonization and show that co-colonizing effects are likely subtle rather than absolute.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0098829
PMCID: PMC4051691  PMID: 24915552
11.  Age-Dependent Prevalence of Nasopharyngeal Carriage of Streptococcus pneumoniae before Conjugate Vaccine Introduction: A Prediction Model Based on a Meta-Analysis 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(1):e86136.
Introduction
Data on the prevalence of nasopharyngeal carriage of S.pneumoniae in all age groups are important to help predict the impact of introducing pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (PCV) into routine infant immunization, given the important indirect effect of the vaccine. Yet most carriage studies are limited to children under five years of age. We here explore the association between carriage prevalence and serotype distribution in children aged ≥5 years and in adults compared to children.
Methods
We conducted a systematic review of studies providing carriage estimates across age groups in healthy populations not previously exposed to PCV, using MEDLINE and Embase. We used Bayesian linear meta-regression models to predict the overall carriage prevalence as well as the prevalence and distribution of vaccine and nonvaccine type (VT and NVT) serotypes in older age groups as a function of that in <5 y olds.
Results
Twenty-nine studies compromising of 20,391 individuals were included in the analysis. In all studies nasopharyngeal carriage decreased with increasing age. We found a strong positive linear association between the carriage prevalence in pre-school childen (<5 y) and both that in school aged children (5–17 y olds) and in adults. The proportion of VT serotypes isolated from carriers was consistently lower in older age groups and on average about 73% that of children <5 y among 5–17 y olds and adults respectively. We provide a prediction model to infer the carriage prevalence and serotype distribution in 5–17 y olds and adults as a function of that in children <5 years of age.
Conclusion
Such predictions are helpful for assessing the potential population-wide effects of vaccination programmes, e.g. via transmission models, and thus assist in the design of future pneumococcal conjugate vaccination strategies.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0086136
PMCID: PMC3900487  PMID: 24465920
12.  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
13.  Immunogenicity, Impact on Carriage and Reactogenicity of 10-Valent Pneumococcal Non-Typeable Haemophilus influenzae Protein D Conjugate Vaccine in Kenyan Children Aged 1–4 Years: A Randomized Controlled Trial 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(1):e85459.
Background
The impact on carriage and optimal schedule for primary vaccination of older children with 10-valent pneumococcal non-typeable Haemophilus influenzae protein-D conjugate vaccine (PHiD-CV) are unknown.
Methods
600 Kenyan children aged 12–59 months were vaccinated at days 0, 60 and 180 in a double-blind randomized controlled trial according to the following vaccine sequence: Group A: PHiD-CV, PHiD-CV, diphtheria/tetanus/acellular pertussis vaccine (DTaP); Group B: PHiD-CV, DTaP, PHiD-CV; Group C: hepatitis A vaccine (HAV), DTaP, HAV. Nasopharyngeal carriage of Streptococcus pneumoniae was measured at five timepoints. In 375 subjects, serotype-specific responses were measured by 22F-inhibition ELISA and opsonophagocytic killing assays (OPA) one month after vaccination.
Results
Following one dose of PHiD-CV, >90% of recipients developed IgG≥0.35 µg/mL to serotypes 1, 4, 5, 7F, 9V and 18C and OPA≥8 to serotypes 4, 7F, 9V, 18C, 23F. After a second dose >90% of recipients had IgG≥0.35 µg/mL to all vaccine serotypes and OPA≥8 to all vaccine serotypes except 1 and 6B. At day 180, carriage of vaccine-type pneumococci was 21% in recipients of two doses of PHiD-CV (Group A) compared to 31% in controls (p = 0.04). Fever after dose 1 was reported by 41% of PHiD-CV recipients compared to 26% of HAV recipients (p<0.001). Other local and systemic adverse experiences were similar between groups.
Conclusions
Vaccination of children aged 12–59 months with two doses of PHiD-CV two to six months apart was immunogenic, reduced vaccine-type pneumococcal carriage and was well-tolerated. Administration of PHiD-CV would be expected to provide effective protection against vaccine-type disease.
Trial Registration
ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01028326
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0085459
PMCID: PMC3897448  PMID: 24465570
14.  Multiple Colonization with S. pneumoniae before and after Introduction of the Seven-Valent Conjugated Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Vaccine 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(7):e11638.
Background
Simultaneous carriage of more than one strain of Streptococcus pneumoniae promotes horizontal gene transfer events and may lead to capsule switch and acquisition of antibiotic resistance. We studied the epidemiology of cocolonization with S. pneumoniae before and after introduction of the seven-valent conjugated pneumococcal vaccine (PCV7).
Methodology
Nasopharyngeal swabs (n 1120) were collected from outpatients between 2004 and 2009 within an ongoing nationwide surveillance program. Cocolonization was detected directly from swabs by restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis. Serotypes were identified by agglutination, multiplex PCR and microarray.
Principal Findings
Rate of multiple colonization remained stable up to three years after PCV7 introduction. Cocolonization was associated with serotypes of low carriage prevalence in the prevaccine era. Pneumococcal colonization density was higher in cocolonized samples and cocolonizing strains were present in a balanced ratio (median 1.38). Other characteristics of cocolonization were a higher frequency at young age, but no association with recurrent acute otitis media, recent antibiotic exposure, day care usage and PCV7 vaccination status.
Conclusions
Pneumococcal cocolonization is dominated by serotypes of low carriage prevalence in the prevaccine era, which coexist in the nasopharynx. Emergence of such previously rare serotypes under vaccine selection pressure may promote cocolonization in the future.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0011638
PMCID: PMC2905437  PMID: 20661289
15.  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
16.  Pneumococcal nasopharyngeal carriage in children following heptavalent pneumococcal conjugate vaccination in infancy 
Archives of Disease in Childhood  2003;88(3):211-214.
Aims: To ascertain whether the reduction in nasopharyngeal carriage of vaccine serotypes induced by pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PnCV) administered to infants persists beyond the age of 2 years.
Methods: Non-randomised, unblinded controlled study of 2–5 year old children who had received three doses of heptavalent PnCV (7VPnCV) in infancy and 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine at 13 months, and unimmunised controls. Nasopharyngeal swabs were taken in summer (150 vaccinated subjects, 126 controls) and winter (143 vaccinated subjects, 188 controls). The swabs were cultured and serotyped for Streptococcus pneumoniae.
Results: Carriage rates (vaccinated subjects: 24.7% and 43.4%; controls: 27.0% and 41.0%, in summer and winter respectively) and carriage of vaccine serotypes (subjects: 10.0% and 30.0%; controls: 13.5% and 31.5%, in summer and winter respectively) were similar in the two groups.
Conclusions: Effects of vaccination in infancy on rates of nasal carriage of pneumococcus and serotype replacement in children living in a largely unvaccinated population are no longer evident by 2–5 years of age.
doi:10.1136/adc.88.3.211
PMCID: PMC1719498  PMID: 12598380
17.  Effect of Seven-Valent Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine on Staphylococcus aureus Colonisation in a Randomised Controlled Trial 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(6):e20229.
Background
Heptavalent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7) shifts nasopharyngeal colonisation with vaccine serotype pneumococci towards nonvaccine serotypes. Because of the reported negative association of vaccine serotype pneumococci and Staphylococcus aureus in the nasopharynx, we explored the effect of PCV7 on nasopharyngeal colonisation with S. aureus in children and parents.
Methodology/Principal Findings
This study was part of a randomised controlled trial on the effect of PCV7 on pneumococcal carriage, enrolling healthy newborns who were randomly assigned (1∶1∶1) to receive PCV7 (1) at 2 and 4 months of age (2) at 2, 4 and 11 months or (3) no PCV7 (controls). Nasopharyngeal colonisation of S. aureus was a planned secondary outcome. Nasopharyngeal swabs were obtained from all children over a 2-year period with 6-months interval and from one parent at the child's age of 12 and 24 months and cultured for Streptococcus pneumoniae and S. aureus. Between July 2005 and February 2006, 1005 children were enrolled and received either 2-doses of PCV7 (n = 336), 2+1-doses (336) or no dose (n = 333) before PCV7 implementation in the Dutch national immunization program. S. aureus colonisation had doubled in children in the 2+1-dose group at 12 months of age compared with unvaccinated controls (10.1% versus 5.0%; p = 0.019). A negative association for co-colonisation of S. pneumoniae and S. aureus was observed for both vaccine serotype (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 0.53, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.38–0.74) and nonvaccine serotype pneumococci (aOR 0.67, 95% CI 0.52–0.88).
Conclusions/Significance
PCV7 induces a temporary increase in S. aureus colonisation in children around 12 months of age after a 2+1-dose PCV7 schedule. The potential clinical consequences are unknown and monitoring is warranted.
Trial Registration
ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00189020
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0020229
PMCID: PMC3112202  PMID: 21695210
18.  Long-Term Effects of Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine on Nasopharyngeal Carriage of S. pneumoniae, S. aureus, H. influenzae and M. catarrhalis 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(6):e39730.
Background
Shifts in pneumococcal serotypes following introduction of 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV-7) may alter the presence of other bacterial pathogens co-inhabiting the same nasopharyngeal niche.
Methodology/Principal Findings
Nasopharyngeal prevalence rates of S. pneumoniae, S. aureus, H. influenzae and M. catarrhalis were investigated before, 3 and 4.5 years after introduction of PCV-7 in the national immunisation program in children at 11 and 24 months of age, and parents of 24-month-old children (n≈330/group) using conventional culture methods. Despite a virtual disappearance of PCV-7 serotypes over time, similar overall pneumococcal rates were observed in all age groups, except for a significant reduction in the 11-month-old group (adjusted Odds Ratio after 4.5 years 0.48, 95% Confidence Interval 0.34–0.67). Before, 3 and 4.5 years after PCV-7 implementation, prevalence rates of S. aureus were 5%, 9% and 14% at 11 months of age (3.59, 1.90–6.79) and 20%, 32% and 34% in parents (1.96, 1.36–2.83), but remained similar at 24 months of age, respectively. Prevalence rates of H. influenzae were 46%, 65% and 65% at 11 months (2.22, 1.58–3.13), 52%, 73% and 76% at 24 months of age (2.68, 1.88–3.82) and 23%, 30% and 40% in parents (2.26, 1.58–3.33), respectively. No consistent changes in M. catarrhalis carriage rates were observed over time.
Conclusions/Significance
In addition to large shifts in pneumococcal serotypes, persistently higher nasopharyngeal prevalence rates of S. aureus and H. influenzae were observed among young children and their parents after PCV-7 implementation. These findings may have implications for disease incidence and antibiotic treatment in the post-PCV era.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0039730
PMCID: PMC3382588  PMID: 22761879
19.  Use of the Chinchilla Model to Evaluate the Vaccinogenic Potential of the Moraxella catarrhalis Filamentous Hemagglutinin-like Proteins MhaB1 and MhaB2 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(7):e67881.
Moraxella catarrhalis causes significant health problems, including 15–20% of otitis media cases in children and ∼10% of respiratory infections in adults with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The lack of an efficacious vaccine, the rapid emergence of antibiotic resistance in clinical isolates, and high carriage rates reported in children are cause for concern. In addition, the effectiveness of conjugate vaccines at reducing the incidence of otitis media caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae and nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae suggest that M. catarrhalis infections may become even more prevalent. Hence, M. catarrhalis is an important and emerging cause of infectious disease for which the development of a vaccine is highly desirable. Studying the pathogenesis of M. catarrhalis and the testing of vaccine candidates have both been hindered by the lack of an animal model that mimics human colonization and infection. To address this, we intranasally infected chinchilla with M. catarrhalis to investigate colonization and examine the efficacy of a protein-based vaccine. The data reveal that infected chinchillas produce antibodies against antigens known to be major targets of the immune response in humans, thus establishing immune parallels between chinchillas and humans during M. catarrhalis infection. Our data also demonstrate that a mutant lacking expression of the adherence proteins MhaB1 and MhaB2 is impaired in its ability to colonize the chinchilla nasopharynx, and that immunization with a polypeptide shared by MhaB1 and MhaB2 elicits antibodies interfering with colonization. These findings underscore the importance of adherence proteins in colonization and emphasize the relevance of the chinchilla model to study M. catarrhalis–host interactions.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0067881
PMCID: PMC3699455  PMID: 23844117
20.  Panel 6: Vaccines 
Objective
To update progress on the effectiveness of vaccine for prevention of acute otitis media (AOM) and identification of promising candidate antigens against Streptococcus pneumoniae, nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae, and Moraxella catarrhalis.
Review Methods
Literature searches were performed in OvidSP and PubMed restricted to articles published between June 2007 and September 2011. Search terms included otitis media, vaccines, vaccine antigens, and each of the otitis pathogens and candidate antigens identified in the ninth conference report.
Conclusions
The current report provides further evidence for the effectiveness of pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (PCVs) in the prevention of otitis media. Observational studies demonstrate a greater decline in AOM episodes than reported in clinical efficacy trials. Unmet challenges include extending protection to additional serotypes and additional pathogens, the need to prevent early episodes, the development of correlates of protection for protein antigens, and the need to define where an otitis media vaccine strategy fits with priorities for child health.
Implications for Practice
Acute otitis media continues to be a burden on children and families, especially those who suffer from frequent recurrences. The 7-valent PCV (PCV7) has reduced the burden of disease as well as shifted the pneumococcal serotypes and the distribution of otopathogens currently reported in children with AOM. Antibiotic resistance remains an ongoing challenge. Multiple candidate antigens have demonstrated the necessary requirements of conservation, surface exposure, immunogenicity, and protection in animal models. Further research on the role of each antigen in pathogenesis, in the development of correlates of protection in animal models, and in new adjuvants to elicit responses in the youngest infants is likely to be productive and permit more antigens to move into human clinical trials.
doi:10.1177/0194599812466535
PMCID: PMC4029613  PMID: 23536534
otitis media; vaccines; vaccine antigens; otitis pathogens; candidate antigens
21.  Nasopharyngeal carriage, serotype distribution and antimicrobial resistance of Streptococcus pneumoniae among children from Brazil before the introduction of the 10-valent conjugate vaccine 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2013;13:318.
Background
Streptococcus pneumoniae remains a major cause of childhood morbidity and mortality worldwide. Nasopharyngeal colonization plays an important role in the development and transmission of pneumococcal diseases, and infants and young children are considered to be the main reservoir of this pathogen. The aim of this study was to evaluate the rates and characteristics associated with nasopharyngeal carriage, the distribution of serotypes and the antimicrobial resistance profiles of Streptococcus pneumoniae among children in a large metropolitan area in Brazil before the introduction of the 10-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine.
Methods
Between March and June 2010, nasopharyngeal swabs were collected from 242 children aged <6 years attending one day care center and the emergency room of a pediatric hospital. Pneumococcal isolates were identified by conventional methods and serotypes were determined by a sequential multiplex PCR assay and/or the Quellung reaction. The antimicrobial susceptibilities of the pneumococci were assessed by the disk diffusion method. MICs for erythromycin and penicillin were also performed. Erythromycin resistance genes were investigated by PCR.
Results
The overall colonization rate was 49.2% and it was considerably higher among children in the day care center. Pneumococcal carriage was more common among day care attenders and cohabitants with young siblings. The most prevalent serotypes were 6B, 19F, 6A, 14, 15C and 23F, which accounted for 61.2% of the isolates. All isolates were susceptible to clindamycin, levofloxacin, rifampicin and vancomycin. The highest rate of non-susceptibility was observed for sulphamethoxazole-trimethoprim (51.2%). Penicillin non-susceptible pneumococci (PNSP) accounted for 27.3% of the isolates (MICs of 0.12-4 μg/ml). Penicillin non-susceptibility was strongly associated with serotypes 14 and 23F. Hospital attendance and the presence of respiratory or general symptoms were frequently associated with PNSP carriage. The two erythromycin-resistant isolates (MICs of 2 and 4 μg/ml) belonged to serotype 6A, presented the M phenotype and harbored the mef(A/E) gene.
Conclusions
Correlations between serotypes, settings and penicillin non-susceptibility were observed. Serotypes coverage projected for the 10-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine was low (45.5%), but pointed out the potential reduction of PNSP nasopharyngeal colonization by nearly 20%.
doi:10.1186/1471-2334-13-318
PMCID: PMC3718621  PMID: 23849314
Streptococcus pneumoniae; Nasopharyngeal carriage; Serotypes; Antimicrobial resistance; Pneumococcal conjugate vaccines
22.  Association between early bacterial carriage and otitis media in Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal children in a semi-arid area of Western Australia: a cohort study 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2012;12:366.
Background
Streptococcus pneumoniae (Pnc), nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi) and Moraxella catarrhalis (Mcat) are the most important bacterial pathogens associated with otitis media (OM). Previous studies have suggested that early upper respiratory tract (URT) bacterial carriage may increase risk of subsequent OM. We investigated associations between early onset of URT bacterial carriage and subsequent diagnosis of OM in Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal children living in the Kalgoorlie-Boulder region located in a semi-arid zone of Western Australia.
Methods
Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal children who had nasopharyngeal aspirates collected at age 1- < 3 months and at least one clinical examination for OM by an ear, nose and throat specialist before age 2 years were included in this analysis. Tympanometry to detect middle ear effusion was also performed at 2- to 6-monthly scheduled field visits from age 3 months. Multivariate regression models were used to investigate the relationship between early carriage and subsequent diagnosis of OM controlling for environmental factors.
Results
Carriage rates of Pnc, NTHi and Mcat at age 1- < 3 months were 45%, 29% and 48%, respectively, in 66 Aboriginal children and 14%, 5% and 18% in 146 non-Aboriginal children. OM was diagnosed at least once in 71% of Aboriginal children and 43% of non-Aboriginal children. After controlling for age, sex, presence of other bacteria and environmental factors, early nasopharyngeal carriage of NTHi increased the risk of subsequent OM (odds ratio = 3.70, 95% CI 1.22-11.23) in Aboriginal children, while Mcat increased the risk of OM in non-Aboriginal children (odds ratio = 2.63, 95% CI 1.32-5.23). Early carriage of Pnc was not associated with increased risk of OM.
Conclusion
Early NTHi carriage in Aboriginal children and Mcat in non-Aboriginal children is associated with increased risk of OM independent of environmental factors. In addition to addressing environmental risk factors for carriage such as overcrowding and exposure to environmental tobacco smoke, early administration of pneumococcal-Haemophilus influenzae D protein conjugate vaccine to reduce bacterial carriage in infants, may be beneficial for Aboriginal children; such an approach is currently being evaluated in Australia.
doi:10.1186/1471-2334-12-366
PMCID: PMC3546895  PMID: 23256870
Otitis media; Aboriginal; Streptococcus pneumoniae; Haemophilus influenzae; Moraxella catarrhalis
23.  Cost-effectiveness of 2 + 1 dosing of 13-valent and 10-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccines in Canada 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2012;12:101.
Background
Thirteen-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13) and 10-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV10) are two recently approved vaccines for the active immunization against Streptococcus pneumoniae causing invasive pneumococcal disease in infants and children. PCV13 offers broader protection against Streptococcus pneumoniae; however, PCV10 offers potential protection against non-typeable Haemophilus influenza (NTHi). We examined public health and economic impacts of a PCV10 and PCV13 pediatric national immunization programs (NIPs) in Canada.
Methods
A decision-analytic model was developed to examine the costs and outcomes associated with PCV10 and PCV13 pediatric NIPs. The model followed individuals over the remainder of their lifetime. Recent disease incidence, serotype coverage, population data, percent vaccinated, costs, and utilities were obtained from the published literature. Direct and indirect effects were derived from 7-valent pneumococcal vaccine. Additional direct effect of 4% was attributed to PCV10 for moderate to severe acute otitis media to account for potential NTHi benefit. Annual number of disease cases and costs (2010 Canadian dollars) were presented.
Results
In Canada, PCV13 was estimated to prevent more cases of disease (49,340 when considering both direct and indirect effects and 7,466 when considering direct effects only) than PCV10. This translated to population gains of 258 to 13,828 more quality-adjusted life-years when vaccinating with PCV13 versus PCV10. Annual direct medical costs (including the cost of vaccination) were estimated to be reduced by $5.7 million to $132.8 million when vaccinating with PCV13. Thus, PCV13 dominated PCV10, and sensitivity analyses showed PCV13 to always be dominant or cost-effective versus PCV10.
Conclusions
Considering the epidemiology of pneumococcal disease in Canada, PCV13 is shown to be a cost-saving immunization program because it provides substantial public health and economic benefits relative to PCV10.
doi:10.1186/1471-2334-12-101
PMCID: PMC3532329  PMID: 22530841
Vaccine; Cost-effectiveness; Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine; Pneumococcal disease
24.  Effect of Age and Vaccination With a Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine on the Density of Pneumococcal Nasopharyngeal Carriage 
This study evaluated the impact of age and pneumococcal vaccination on the density of pneumococcal nasopharyngeal carriage. Among colonized individuals, density decreased with increasing age. Time-trends analysis revealed that pneumococcal vaccination appeared to lower the density of nasopharyngeal carriage.
Background. This study evaluated the impact of age and pneumococcal vaccination on the density of pneumococcal nasopharyngeal carriage.
Methods. A cluster-randomized trial was conducted in rural Gambia. In 11 villages (the vaccine group), all residents received 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV-7), while in another 10 villages (the control group), only children <30 months old or born during the study period received PCV-7. Cross-sectional surveys (CSSs) were conducted to collect nasopharyngeal swabs before vaccination (baseline CSS) and 4, 12, and 22 months after vaccination. Pneumococcal density was defined using a semiquantitative classification (range, 1–4) among colonized individuals. An age-trend analysis of density was conducted using data from the baseline CSS. Mean pneumococcal density was compared in CSSs conducted before and after vaccination.
Results. Mean bacterial density among colonized individuals in the baseline CSS was 2.57 for vaccine-type (VT) and non–vaccine-type (NVT) pneumococci; it decreased with age (P < .001 for VT and NVT). There was a decrease in the density of VT carriage following vaccination in individuals older than 5 years (from 2.44 to 1.88; P = .001) and in younger individuals (from 2.57 to 2.11; P = .070) in the vaccinated villages. Similar decreases in density were observed with NVT within vaccinated and control villages. No significant differences were found between vaccinated and control villages in the postvaccination comparisons for either VT or NVT.
Conclusions. A high density of carriage among young subjects might partly explain why children are more efficient than adults in pneumococcal transmission. PCV-7 vaccination lowered the density of VT and of NVT pneumococcal carriage in the before-after vaccination analysis.
Clinical Trials Registration. ISRCTN51695599.
doi:10.1093/cid/cis554
PMCID: PMC3423933  PMID: 22700830
25.  Indirect Effect of 7-Valent Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine on Pneumococcal Carriage in Newborns in Rural Gambia: A Randomised Controlled Trial 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(11):e49143.
Background
Gambian infants frequently acquire Streptococcus pneumoniae soon after birth. We investigated the indirect effect of 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV-7) on pneumococcal acquisition in newborn Gambian babies.
Methods
Twenty-one villages were randomised to receive PCV-7 to all subjects (11 vaccinated villages) or to infants aged 2–30 months (10 control villages). Other control villagers received Meningococcal C conjugate vaccine. From 328 babies born during the trial, nasopharyngeal swabs were collected after birth, then weekly until 8 weeks of age when they received their first dose of PCV-7. Pneumococcal carriage and acquisition rates were compared between the study arms and with a baseline study.
Results
57.4% of 2245 swabs were positive for S. pneumoniae. Overall carriage was similar in both arms. In vaccinated villages fewer infants carried pneumococci of vaccine serotypes (VT) (16.9% [31/184] vs. 37.5% [54/144], p<0.001) and more carried pneumococci of non-vaccine serotypes (NVT) (80.9% [149/184] vs. 75.7% [109/144], p = 0.246). Infants from vaccinated villages had a significantly lower acquisition rate of VT (HR 0.39 [0.26–0.58], p<0.001) and increased acquisition of NVT (HR 1.16 [0.87–1.56], p = 0.312). VT carriage (51.6% vs. 37.5%, p = 031 in control and 46.1% vs. 16.8%, p<0.001 in vaccinated villages) and acquisition rates (HR 0.68 [0.50–0.92], p = 0.013 in control villages and HR 0.31 [0.19–0.50], p<.001 in vaccinated villages) were significantly lower in both study arms than in the baseline study. NVT carriage (63.2% vs. 75.7%, p = 0.037 in control and 67.2% vs. 75.3%, p = 0.005 in vaccinated villages) and acquisition rates (HR 1.48 [1.06–2.06], p = 0.022) and (HR 1.52 [1.11–2.10], p = 0.010 respectively) were significantly higher.
Conclusion
PCV-7 significantly reduced carriage of VT pneumococci in unvaccinated infants. This indirect effect likely originated from both the child and adult vaccinated populations. Increased carriage of NVT pneumococci needs ongoing monitoring.
Trial Registration
ISRCTN Register 51695599
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0049143
PMCID: PMC3504064  PMID: 23185303

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