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1.  Effects of Community-Wide Vaccination with PCV-7 on Pneumococcal Nasopharyngeal Carriage in The Gambia: A Cluster-Randomized Trial 
PLoS Medicine  2011;8(10):e1001107.
In a cluster-randomized trial conducted in Gambian villages, Anna Roca and colleagues find that vaccination of children with pneumococcal conjugate vaccines reduced vaccine-type pneumococcal carriage even among nonvaccinated older children and adults.
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
2.  Association between Respiratory Syncytial Virus Activity and Pneumococcal Disease in Infants: A Time Series Analysis of US Hospitalization Data 
PLoS Medicine  2015;12(1):e1001776.
Daniel Weinberger and colleagues examine a possible interaction between two serious respiratory infections in children under 2 years of age.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Background
The importance of bacterial infections following respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) remains unclear. We evaluated whether variations in RSV epidemic timing and magnitude are associated with variations in pneumococcal disease epidemics and whether changes in pneumococcal disease following the introduction of seven-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7) were associated with changes in the rate of hospitalizations coded as RSV.
Methods and Findings
We used data from the State Inpatient Databases (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality), including >700,000 RSV hospitalizations and >16,000 pneumococcal pneumonia hospitalizations in 36 states (1992/1993–2008/2009). Harmonic regression was used to estimate the timing of the average seasonal peak of RSV, pneumococcal pneumonia, and pneumococcal septicemia. We then estimated the association between the incidence of pneumococcal disease in children and the activity of RSV and influenza (where there is a well-established association) using Poisson regression models that controlled for shared seasonal variations. Finally, we estimated changes in the rate of hospitalizations coded as RSV following the introduction of PCV7. RSV and pneumococcal pneumonia shared a distinctive spatiotemporal pattern (correlation of peak timing: ρ = 0.70, 95% CI: 0.45, 0.84). RSV was associated with a significant increase in the incidence of pneumococcal pneumonia in children aged <1 y (attributable percent [AP]: 20.3%, 95% CI: 17.4%, 25.1%) and among children aged 1–2 y (AP: 10.1%, 95% CI: 7.6%, 13.9%). Influenza was also associated with an increase in pneumococcal pneumonia among children aged 1–2 y (AP: 3.2%, 95% CI: 1.7%, 4.7%). Finally, we observed a significant decline in RSV-coded hospitalizations in children aged <1 y following PCV7 introduction (−18.0%, 95% CI: −22.6%, −13.1%, for 2004/2005–2008/2009 versus 1997/1998–1999/2000). This study used aggregated hospitalization data, and studies with individual-level, laboratory-confirmed data could help to confirm these findings.
Conclusions
These analyses provide evidence for an interaction between RSV and pneumococcal pneumonia. Future work should evaluate whether treatment for secondary bacterial infections could be considered for pneumonia cases even if a child tests positive for RSV.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Respiratory infections—bacterial and viral infections of the lungs and the airways (the tubes that take oxygen-rich air to the lungs)—are major causes of illness and death in children worldwide. Pneumonia (infection of the lungs) alone is responsible for about 15% of all child deaths. The leading cause of bacterial pneumonia in children is Streptococcus pneumoniae, which is transmitted through contact with infected respiratory secretions. S. pneumoniae usually causes noninvasive diseases such as bronchitis, but sometimes the bacteria invade the lungs, the bloodstream, or the covering of the brain, where they cause pneumonia, septicemia, or meningitis, respectively. These potentially fatal invasive pneumococcal diseases can be treated with antibiotics but can also be prevented by vaccination with pneumococcal conjugate vaccines such as PCV7. The leading cause of viral pneumonia is respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), which is also readily transmitted through contact with infected respiratory secretions. Almost all children have an RSV infection before their second birthday—RSV usually causes a mild cold-like illness. However, some children infected with RSV develop pneumonia and have to be admitted to hospital for supportive care such as the provision of supplemental oxygen; there is no specific treatment for RSV infection.
Why Was This Study Done?
Co-infections with bacteria and viruses can sometimes have a synergistic effect and lead to more severe disease than an infection with either type of pathogen (disease-causing organism) alone. For example, influenza infections increase the risk of invasive pneumococcal disease. But does pneumococcal disease also interact with RSV infection? It is important to understand the interaction between pneumococcal disease and RSV to improve the treatment of respiratory infections in young children, but the importance of bacterial infections following RSV infection is currently unclear. Here, the researchers undertake a time series analysis of US hospitalization data to investigate the association between RSV activity and pneumococcal disease in infants. Time series analysis uses statistical methods to analyze data collected at successive, evenly spaced time points.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
For their analysis, the researchers used data collected between 1992/1993 and 2008/2009 by the State Inpatient Databases on more than 700,000 hospitalizations for RSV and more than 16,000 hospitalizations for pneumococcal pneumonia or septicemia among children under two years old in 36 US states. Using a statistical technique called harmonic regression to measure seasonal variations in disease incidence (the rate of occurrence of new cases of a disease), the researchers show that RSV and pneumococcal pneumonia shared a distinctive spatiotemporal pattern over the study period. Next, using Poisson regression models (another type of statistical analysis), they show that RSV was associated with significant increases (increases unlikely to have happened by chance) in the incidence of pneumococcal disease. Among children under one year old, 20.3% of pneumococcal pneumonia cases were associated with RSV activity; among children 1–2 years old, 10.1% of pneumococcal pneumonia cases were associated with RSV activity. Finally, the researchers report that following the introduction of routine vaccination in the US against S. pneumoniae with PCV7 in 2000, there was a significant decline in hospitalizations for RSV among children under one year old.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings provide evidence for an interaction between RSV and pneumococcal pneumonia and indicate that RSV is associated with increases in the incidence of pneumococcal pneumonia, particularly in young infants. Notably, the finding that RSV hospitalizations declined after the introduction of routine pneumococcal vaccination suggests that some RSV hospitalizations may have a joint viral–bacterial etiology (cause), although it is possible that PCV7 vaccination reduced the diagnosis of RSV because fewer children were hospitalized with pneumococcal disease and subsequently tested for RSV. Because this is an ecological study (an observational investigation that looks at risk factors and outcomes in temporally and geographically defined populations), these findings do not provide evidence for a causal link between hospitalizations for RSV and pneumococcal pneumonia. The similar spatiotemporal patterns for the two infections might reflect another unknown factor shared by the children who were hospitalized for RSV or pneumococcal pneumonia. Moreover, because pooled hospitalization discharge data were used in this study, these results need to be confirmed through analysis of individual-level, laboratory-confirmed data. Importantly, however, these findings support the initiation of studies to determine whether treatment for bacterial infections should be considered for children with pneumonia even if they have tested positive for RSV.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001776.
The US National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute provides information about the respiratory system and about pneumonia
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides information on all aspects of pneumococcal disease and pneumococcal vaccination, including personal stories and information about RSV infection
The UK National Health Service Choices website provides information about pneumonia (including a personal story) and about pneumococcal diseases
KidsHealth, a website provided by the US-based non-profit Nemours Foundation, includes information on pneumonia and on RSV (in English and Spanish)
MedlinePlus provides links to other resources about pneumonia, RSV infections, and pneumococcal infections (in English and Spanish)
HCUPnet provides aggregated hospitalization data from the State Inpatient Databases used in this study
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001776
PMCID: PMC4285401  PMID: 25562317
3.  Systematic Evaluation of Serotypes Causing Invasive Pneumococcal Disease among Children Under Five: The Pneumococcal Global Serotype Project 
PLoS Medicine  2010;7(10):e1000348.
Hope Johnson and colleagues calculate the global and regional burden of serotype-specific pneumococcal disease in children under the age of five.
Background
Approximately 800,000 children die each year due to pneumococcal disease and >90% of these deaths occur in developing countries where few children have access to life-saving serotype-based vaccines. Understanding the serotype epidemiology of invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) among children is necessary for vaccine development and introduction policies. The aim of this study was to systematically estimate the global and regional distributions of serotypes causing IPD in children <5 years of age.
Methods and Findings
We systematically reviewed studies with IPD serotype data among children <5 years of age from the published literature and unpublished data provided by researchers. Studies conducted prior to pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) introduction, from 1980 to 2007, with ≥12 months of surveillance, and reporting ≥20 serotyped isolates were included. Serotype-specific proportions were pooled in a random effects meta-analysis and combined with PD incidence and mortality estimates to infer global and regional serotype-specific PD burden. Of 1,292, studies reviewed, 169 were included comprising 60,090 isolates from 70 countries. Globally and regionally, six to 11 serotypes accounted for ≥70% of IPD. Seven serotypes (1, 5, 6A, 6B, 14, 19F, 23F) were the most common globally; and based on year 2000 incidence and mortality estimates these seven serotypes accounted for >300,000 deaths in Africa and 200,000 deaths in Asia. Serotypes included in both the 10- and 13-valent PCVs accounted for 10 million cases and 600,000 deaths worldwide.
Conclusions
A limited number of serotypes cause most IPD worldwide. The serotypes included in existing PCV formulations account for 49%–88% of deaths in Africa and Asia where PD morbidity and mortality are the highest, but few children have access to these life-saving vaccines.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Despite all the international attention on Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 4—to reduce deaths in children under 5 years by two thirds by 2015—pneumonia, sepsis, and meningitis together comprise >25% of the 10 million deaths occurring annually in children <5 years of age. Streptococcus pneumoniae is a leading bacterial cause of these diseases and the World Health Organization estimates that approximately 800,000 children die each year of invasive pneumococcal disease. Three pneumococcal conjugate vaccines are currently available and protect against the serotypes most commonly causing invasive pneumococcal disease in young children in North America. However, few countries with the highest burden of invasive pneumococcal disease have introduced the vaccines into their national immunization programs. Not only is it important to introduce a vaccine, but also to use a vaccine covering the appropriate serotypes prevalent in a susceptible region.
Why Was This Study Done?
Over the past few years, data on serotyping in many high burden countries has become available. The authors conducted this study (a systematic review and meta-analysis) to quantify the serotypes causing invasive pneumococcal disease in children <5 years of age in order to estimate the global and regional serotype distribution and serotype-specific disease burden. This information can then be used to estimate the potential public health impact of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine formulations and help to inform decision making for both pneumococcal vaccine development and the introduction of a vaccine into a specific region.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
Using published studies and unpublished data provided by researchers, the researchers systematically reviewed studies that included data on invasive pneumococcal disease serotype among children <5 years of age. The researchers then used statistical tools to pool the serotype-specific proportions and combined this information with pneumococcal disease incidence and mortality estimates to calculate the global and regional burden of serotype-specific pneumococcal disease.
The researchers reviewed 1,292 studies and included 169 suitable studies in their analysis, which included information on 60,090 isolates from 70 countries. The researchers produced regional estimates of the serotypes that caused invasive pneumococcal disease among under five-year-olds in different regions: six serotypes were identified as causing most invasive pneumococcal disease in North America; nine serotypes were identified in Africa; and 11 serotypes were identified in Asia. The researchers also found that seven serotypes (1, 5, 6A, 6B, 14, 19F, and 23F) were the most common globally and that these seven serotypes accounted for 58%–66% of invasive pneumococcal disease in every region. On the basis of incidence and mortality estimates of invasive pneumococcal disease for the year 2000 (before pneumococcal conjugate vaccines were introduced), the researchers found that these serotypes represented >300,000 deaths in Africa and 200,000 deaths in Asia.
What Do These Findings Mean?
This study shows that a limited number of serotypes cause most invasive pneumococcal disease worldwide. This finding contradicts the conventional supposition that the most common serotypes causing invasive pneumococcal disease vary greatly across geographic regions. Crucially, the findings of this study also show that the serotypes currently included in existing pneumococcal conjugate formulations account for 49%–74% of deaths in Africa and Asia where the morbidity and mortality of pneumococcal disease are the highest and where most children do not have access to current pneumococcal conjugate vaccines. Although the authors do not provide country-level estimates of serotype distribution, country-specific vaccine impact estimates can be made using country-level pneumococcal disease burden numbers combined with the regional serotype estimates provided in this study. This means that national policy makers can assess the potential impact of serotypes included in different conjugate vaccines, which should contribute to their decision-making process. In addition, manufacturers can now work from a consensus set of serotype coverage estimates to plan and design future serotype-based vaccine formulations to target the pneumococcal disease burden.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1000348
The World Health Organization provides information about pneumococcus
The PneumoACTION provides information about pneumonia and pneumococcal disease
The Global Alliance for Vaccination and Immunisation has information on all aspects of vaccination and immunization
The US Centers for Disease Control provides information about pneumococcal conjugate vaccination
The Word Pneumonia Day coalition provides information about pneumonia
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000348
PMCID: PMC2950132  PMID: 20957191
4.  Pneumococcal Serotypes and Mortality following Invasive Pneumococcal Disease: A Population-Based Cohort Study 
PLoS Medicine  2009;6(5):e1000081.
Analyzing population-based data collected over 30 years in more than 18,000 patients with invasive pneumococcal infection, Zitta Harboe and colleagues find specific pneumococcal serotypes to be associated with increased mortality.
Background
Pneumococcal disease is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. The aim of this study was to investigate the association between specific pneumococcal serotypes and mortality from invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD).
Methods and Findings
In a nationwide population-based cohort study of IPD in Denmark during 1977–2007, 30-d mortality associated with pneumococcal serotypes was examined by multivariate logistic regression analysis after controlling for potential confounders. A total of 18,858 IPD patients were included. Overall 30-d mortality was 18%, and 3% in children younger than age 5 y. Age, male sex, meningitis, high comorbidity level, alcoholism, and early decade of diagnosis were significantly associated with mortality. Among individuals aged 5 y and older, serotypes 31, 11A, 35F, 17F, 3, 16F, 19F, 15B, and 10A were associated with highly increased mortality as compared with serotype 1 (all: adjusted odds ratio ≥3, p<0.001). In children younger than 5 y, associations between serotypes and mortality were different than in adults but statistical precision was limited because of low overall childhood-related mortality.
Conclusions
Specific pneumococcal serotypes strongly and independently affect IPD associated mortality.
Editors' Summary
Background
Pneumococcal diseases—illnesses caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria—are leading causes of illness and death around the world. S. pneumoniae is transmitted through contact with infected respiratory secretions and usually causes noninvasive diseases such as ear infections and bronchitis. Sometimes, however, the bacteria invade the lungs (where they cause pneumonia), the bloodstream (where they cause bacteremia), or the covering of the brain (where they cause meningitis). These invasive pneumococcal diseases (IPDs) are often fatal. One million children die annually from pneumococcal disease, many of them in developing countries. In the developed world, however, IPDs mainly affect elderly people and patients with chronic conditions such as diabetes and alcoholism. Although pneumococcal diseases can sometimes be treated successfully with antibiotics, many patients die or develop long-term complications. Consequently, vaccination with “pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine” (PPV) is recommended for everyone over 65 years old and for people between 2 and 65 years old who are at high risk of developing IPD; vaccination with “pneumococcal conjugate vaccine” (PCV) is recommended for children younger than 2 years old who are at high risk of IPDs.
Why Was This Study Done?
S. pneumoniae is not a single organism. There are actually more than 90 S. pneumoniae variants or “serotypes.” These variants are coated with different polysaccharides (complex sugar molecules) that are, in part, responsible for the deleterious effects of S. pneumonia infections. The same molecules also trigger the human immune response that kills the bacteria. Consequently, pneumococcal vaccines contain polysaccharide mixtures isolated from the S. pneumoniae serotypes responsible for most pneumococcal disease. But are these serotypes also responsible for most of the deaths caused by IPD? Until now, the few studies that have investigated the association between S. pneumoniae serotypes and death from IPD have yielded conflicting results. Here, therefore, the researchers undertook a large population-based study to discover whether there is an association between specific pneumococcal serotypes and death following IPD.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers linked data on the serotype of S. pneumoniae isolates sent to the Danish National Neisseria and Streptococcus Reference Center between 1977 and 2007 with clinical data from national medical databases. After allowing for other factors that might affect a person's likelihood of dying from IPD (for example, age and other illnesses), the researchers used multivariate logistic regression analysis (a statistical approach) to look for associations between S. pneumoniae serotypes and death within 30 days of admission to hospital for pneumococcal bacteremia or meningitis. Overall, 18% of the nearly 19,000 people included in this analysis died within 30 days of hospital admission; among the children younger than 5 years included in the study, the death rate was 3%. Among patients 5 years old or older, nine S. pneumoniae serotypes were associated with a more than 3-fold higher death rate (mostly from bacteremia) than serotype 1, the most common serotype isolated during the study. Interestingly, in young children, a different set of serotypes seemed to be associated with death. However, because so few children died from IPD, this result is statistically uncertain. The researchers' results also show that age, gender, having meningitis, having other illnesses, and alcoholism all affected a patient's chances of dying from IPD.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings show that specific pneumococcal serotypes strongly affect the likelihood that a person aged 5 years or over will die within 30 days of admission to hospital with IPD. Importantly, unlike previous studies, this study was large and comprehensive—the Danish surveillance center covers more than 90% of the Danish population—and the researchers carefully took other factors into account that might have affected a patient's chances of dying from IPD. Thus, these new insights into which pneumococcal serotypes are most deadly could help in the design of new pneumococcal vaccines, at least for people aged 5 years or older. For younger children, however, the results are not as informative and a similar study now needs to be done in developing countries, where more young people die from IPD.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1000081.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides information for patients and health professionals on all aspects of pneumococcal disease and pneumococcal vaccination
The US National Foundation for Infectious Diseases has a fact sheet on pneumococcal disease
The UK Health Protection Agency also provides background information on pneumococcal disease
The GAVI's Pneumococcal Vaccines Accelerated Development and Introduction Plan focuses on pneumococcal vaccines for children
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000081
PMCID: PMC2680036  PMID: 19468297
5.  Influenza and Pneumococcal Vaccinations for Patients With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) 
Executive Summary
In July 2010, the Medical Advisory Secretariat (MAS) began work on a Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) evidentiary framework, an evidence-based review of the literature surrounding treatment strategies for patients with COPD. This project emerged from a request by the Health System Strategy Division of the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care that MAS provide them with an evidentiary platform on the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of COPD interventions.
After an initial review of health technology assessments and systematic reviews of COPD literature, and consultation with experts, MAS identified the following topics for analysis: vaccinations (influenza and pneumococcal), smoking cessation, multidisciplinary care, pulmonary rehabilitation, long-term oxygen therapy, noninvasive positive pressure ventilation for acute and chronic respiratory failure, hospital-at-home for acute exacerbations of COPD, and telehealth (including telemonitoring and telephone support). Evidence-based analyses were prepared for each of these topics. For each technology, an economic analysis was also completed where appropriate. In addition, a review of the qualitative literature on patient, caregiver, and provider perspectives on living and dying with COPD was conducted, as were reviews of the qualitative literature on each of the technologies included in these analyses.
The Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Mega-Analysis series is made up of the following reports, which can be publicly accessed at the MAS website at: http://www.hqontario.ca/en/mas/mas_ohtas_mn.html.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Evidentiary Framework
Influenza and Pneumococcal Vaccinations for Patients With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): An Evidence-Based Analysis
Smoking Cessation for Patients With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): An Evidence-Based Analysis
Community-Based Multidisciplinary Care for Patients With Stable Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): An Evidence-Based Analysis
Pulmonary Rehabilitation for Patients With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): An Evidence-Based Analysis
Long-term Oxygen Therapy for Patients With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): An Evidence-Based Analysis
Noninvasive Positive Pressure Ventilation for Acute Respiratory Failure Patients With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): An Evidence-Based Analysis
Noninvasive Positive Pressure Ventilation for Chronic Respiratory Failure Patients With Stable Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): An Evidence-Based Analysis
Hospital-at-Home Programs for Patients with Acute Exacerbations of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): An Evidence-Based Analysis
Home Telehealth for Patients With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): An Evidence-Based Analysis
Cost-Effectiveness of Interventions for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Using an Ontario Policy Model
Experiences of Living and Dying With COPD: A Systematic Review and Synthesis of the Qualitative Empirical Literature
For more information on the qualitative review, please contact Mita Giacomini at: http://fhs.mcmaster.ca/ceb/faculty_member_giacomini.htm.
For more information on the economic analysis, please visit the PATH website: http://www.path-hta.ca/About-Us/Contact-Us.aspx.
The Toronto Health Economics and Technology Assessment (THETA) collaborative has produced an associated report on patient preference for mechanical ventilation. For more information, please visit the THETA website: http://theta.utoronto.ca/static/contact.
Objective
The objective of this analysis was to determine the effectiveness of the influenza vaccination and the pneumococcal vaccination in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in reducing the incidence of influenza-related illness or pneumococcal pneumonia.
Clinical Need: Condition and Target Population
Influenza Disease
Influenza is a global threat. It is believed that the risk of a pandemic of influenza still exists. Three pandemics occurred in the 20th century which resulted in millions of deaths worldwide. The fourth pandemic of H1N1 influenza occurred in 2009 and affected countries in all continents.
Rates of serious illness due to influenza viruses are high among older people and patients with chronic conditions such as COPD. The influenza viruses spread from person to person through sneezing and coughing. Infected persons can transfer the virus even a day before their symptoms start. The incubation period is 1 to 4 days with a mean of 2 days. Symptoms of influenza infection include fever, shivering, dry cough, headache, runny or stuffy nose, muscle ache, and sore throat. Other symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea can occur.
Complications of influenza infection include viral pneumonia, secondary bacterial pneumonia, and other secondary bacterial infections such as bronchitis, sinusitis, and otitis media. In viral pneumonia, patients develop acute fever and dyspnea, and may further show signs and symptoms of hypoxia. The organisms involved in bacterial pneumonia are commonly identified as Staphylococcus aureus and Hemophilus influenza. The incidence of secondary bacterial pneumonia is most common in the elderly and those with underlying conditions such as congestive heart disease and chronic bronchitis.
Healthy people usually recover within one week but in very young or very old people and those with underlying medical conditions such as COPD, heart disease, diabetes, and cancer, influenza is associated with higher risks and may lead to hospitalization and in some cases death. The cause of hospitalization or death in many cases is viral pneumonia or secondary bacterial pneumonia. Influenza infection can lead to the exacerbation of COPD or an underlying heart disease.
Streptococcal Pneumonia
Streptococcus pneumoniae, also known as pneumococcus, is an encapsulated Gram-positive bacterium that often colonizes in the nasopharynx of healthy children and adults. Pneumococcus can be transmitted from person to person during close contact. The bacteria can cause illnesses such as otitis media and sinusitis, and may become more aggressive and affect other areas of the body such as the lungs, brain, joints, and blood stream. More severe infections caused by pneumococcus are pneumonia, bacterial sepsis, meningitis, peritonitis, arthritis, osteomyelitis, and in rare cases, endocarditis and pericarditis.
People with impaired immune systems are susceptible to pneumococcal infection. Young children, elderly people, patients with underlying medical conditions including chronic lung or heart disease, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, sickle cell disease, and people who have undergone a splenectomy are at a higher risk for acquiring pneumococcal pneumonia.
Technology
Influenza and Pneumococcal Vaccines
Trivalent Influenza Vaccines in Canada
In Canada, 5 trivalent influenza vaccines are currently authorized for use by injection. Four of these are formulated for intramuscular use and the fifth product (Intanza®) is formulated for intradermal use.
The 4 vaccines for intramuscular use are:
Fluviral (GlaxoSmithKline), split virus, inactivated vaccine, for use in adults and children ≥ 6 months;
Vaxigrip (Sanofi Pasteur), split virus inactivated vaccine, for use in adults and children ≥ 6 months;
Agriflu (Novartis), surface antigen inactivated vaccine, for use in adults and children ≥ 6 months; and
Influvac (Abbott), surface antigen inactivated vaccine, for use in persons ≥ 18 years of age.
FluMist is a live attenuated virus in the form of an intranasal spray for persons aged 2 to 59 years. Immunization with current available influenza vaccines is not recommended for infants less than 6 months of age.
Pneumococcal Vaccine
Pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccines were developed more than 50 years ago and have progressed from 2-valent vaccines to the current 23-valent vaccines to prevent diseases caused by 23 of the most common serotypes of S pneumoniae. Canada-wide estimates suggest that approximately 90% of cases of pneumococcal bacteremia and meningitis are caused by these 23 serotypes. Health Canada has issued licenses for 2 types of 23-valent vaccines to be injected intramuscularly or subcutaneously:
Pneumovax 23® (Merck & Co Inc. Whitehouse Station, NJ, USA), and
Pneumo 23® (Sanofi Pasteur SA, Lion, France) for persons 2 years of age and older.
Other types of pneumococcal vaccines licensed in Canada are for pediatric use. Pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine is injected only once. A second dose is applied only in some conditions.
Research Questions
What is the effectiveness of the influenza vaccination and the pneumococcal vaccination compared with no vaccination in COPD patients?
What is the safety of these 2 vaccines in COPD patients?
What is the budget impact and cost-effectiveness of these 2 vaccines in COPD patients?
Research Methods
Literature search
Search Strategy
A literature search was performed on July 5, 2010 using OVID MEDLINE, MEDLINE In-Process and Other Non-Indexed Citations, EMBASE, the Cumulative Index to Nursing & Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), the Cochrane Library, and the International Agency for Health Technology Assessment (INAHTA) for studies published from January 1, 2000 to July 5, 2010. The search was updated monthly through the AutoAlert function of the search up to January 31, 2011. Abstracts were reviewed by a single reviewer and, for those studies meeting the eligibility criteria, full-text articles were obtained. Articles with an unknown eligibility were reviewed with a second clinical epidemiologist and then a group of epidemiologists until consensus was established. Data extraction was carried out by the author.
Inclusion Criteria
studies comparing clinical efficacy of the influenza vaccine or the pneumococcal vaccine with no vaccine or placebo;
randomized controlled trials published between January 1, 2000 and January 31, 2011;
studies including patients with COPD only;
studies investigating the efficacy of types of vaccines approved by Health Canada;
English language studies.
Exclusion Criteria
non-randomized controlled trials;
studies investigating vaccines for other diseases;
studies comparing different variations of vaccines;
studies in which patients received 2 or more types of vaccines;
studies comparing different routes of administering vaccines;
studies not reporting clinical efficacy of the vaccine or reporting immune response only;
studies investigating the efficacy of vaccines not approved by Health Canada.
Outcomes of Interest
Primary Outcomes
Influenza vaccination: Episodes of acute respiratory illness due to the influenza virus.
Pneumococcal vaccination: Time to the first episode of community-acquired pneumonia either due to pneumococcus or of unknown etiology.
Secondary Outcomes
rate of hospitalization and mechanical ventilation
mortality rate
adverse events
Quality of Evidence
The quality of each included study was assessed taking into consideration allocation concealment, randomization, blinding, power/sample size, withdrawals/dropouts, and intention-to-treat analyses. The quality of the body of evidence was assessed as high, moderate, low, or very low according to the GRADE Working Group criteria. The following definitions of quality were used in grading the quality of the evidence:
Summary of Efficacy of the Influenza Vaccination in Immunocompetent Patients With COPD
Clinical Effectiveness
The influenza vaccination was associated with significantly fewer episodes of influenza-related acute respiratory illness (ARI). The incidence density of influenza-related ARI was:
All patients: vaccine group: (total of 4 cases) = 6.8 episodes per 100 person-years; placebo group: (total of 17 cases) = 28.1 episodes per 100 person-years, (relative risk [RR], 0.2; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.06−0.70; P = 0.005).
Patients with severe airflow obstruction (forced expiratory volume in 1 second [FEV1] < 50% predicted): vaccine group: (total of 1 case) = 4.6 episodes per 100 person-years; placebo group: (total of 7 cases) = 31.2 episodes per 100 person-years, (RR, 0.1; 95% CI, 0.003−1.1; P = 0.04).
Patients with moderate airflow obstruction (FEV1 50%−69% predicted): vaccine group: (total of 2 cases) = 13.2 episodes per 100 person-years; placebo group: (total of 4 cases) = 23.8 episodes per 100 person-years, (RR, 0.5; 95% CI, 0.05−3.8; P = 0.5).
Patients with mild airflow obstruction (FEV1 ≥ 70% predicted): vaccine group: (total of 1 case) = 4.5 episodes per 100 person-years; placebo group: (total of 6 cases) = 28.2 episodes per 100 person-years, (RR, 0.2; 95% CI, 0.003−1.3; P = 0.06).
The Kaplan-Meier survival analysis showed a significant difference between the vaccinated group and the placebo group regarding the probability of not acquiring influenza-related ARI (log-rank test P value = 0.003). Overall, the vaccine effectiveness was 76%. For categories of mild, moderate, or severe COPD the vaccine effectiveness was 84%, 45%, and 85% respectively.
With respect to hospitalization, fewer patients in the vaccine group compared with the placebo group were hospitalized due to influenza-related ARIs, although these differences were not statistically significant. The incidence density of influenza-related ARIs that required hospitalization was 3.4 episodes per 100 person-years in the vaccine group and 8.3 episodes per 100 person-years in the placebo group (RR, 0.4; 95% CI, 0.04−2.5; P = 0.3; log-rank test P value = 0.2). Also, no statistically significant differences between the 2 groups were observed for the 3 categories of severity of COPD.
Fewer patients in the vaccine group compared with the placebo group required mechanical ventilation due to influenza-related ARIs. However, these differences were not statistically significant. The incidence density of influenza-related ARIs that required mechanical ventilation was 0 episodes per 100 person-years in the vaccine group and 5 episodes per 100 person-years in the placebo group (RR, 0.0; 95% CI, 0−2.5; P = 0.1; log-rank test P value = 0.4). In addition, no statistically significant differences between the 2 groups were observed for the 3 categories of severity of COPD. The effectiveness of the influenza vaccine in preventing influenza-related ARIs and influenza-related hospitalization was not related to age, sex, severity of COPD, smoking status, or comorbid diseases.
safety
Overall, significantly more patients in the vaccine group than the placebo group experienced local adverse reactions (vaccine: 17 [27%], placebo: 4 [6%]; P = 0.002). Significantly more patients in the vaccine group than the placebo group experienced swelling (vaccine 4, placebo 0; P = 0.04) and itching (vaccine 4, placebo 0; P = 0.04). Systemic reactions included headache, myalgia, fever, and skin rash and there were no significant differences between the 2 groups for these reactions (vaccine: 47 [76%], placebo: 51 [81%], P = 0.5).
With respect to lung function, dyspneic symptoms, and exercise capacity, there were no significant differences between the 2 groups at 1 week and at 4 weeks in: FEV1, maximum inspiratory pressure at residual volume, oxygen saturation level of arterial blood, visual analogue scale for dyspneic symptoms, and the 6 Minute Walking Test for exercise capacity.
There was no significant difference between the 2 groups with regard to the probability of not acquiring total ARIs (influenza-related and/or non-influenza-related); (log-rank test P value = 0.6).
Summary of Efficacy of the Pneumococcal Vaccination in Immunocompetent Patients With COPD
Clinical Effectiveness
The Kaplan-Meier survival analysis showed no significant differences between the group receiving the penumoccocal vaccination and the control group for time to the first episode of community-acquired pneumonia due to pneumococcus or of unknown etiology (log-rank test 1.15; P = 0.28). Overall, vaccine efficacy was 24% (95% CI, −24 to 54; P = 0.33).
With respect to the incidence of pneumococcal pneumonia, the Kaplan-Meier survival analysis showed a significant difference between the 2 groups (vaccine: 0/298; control: 5/298; log-rank test 5.03; P = 0.03).
Hospital admission rates and median length of hospital stays were lower in the vaccine group, but the difference was not statistically significant. The mortality rate was not different between the 2 groups.
Subgroup Analysis
The Kaplan-Meier survival analysis showed significant differences between the vaccine and control groups for pneumonia due to pneumococcus and pneumonia of unknown etiology, and when data were analyzed according to subgroups of patients (age < 65 years, and severe airflow obstruction FEV1 < 40% predicted). The accumulated percentage of patients without pneumonia (due to pneumococcus and of unknown etiology) across time was significantly lower in the vaccine group than in the control group in patients younger than 65 years of age (log-rank test 6.68; P = 0.0097) and patients with a FEV1 less than 40% predicted (log-rank test 3.85; P = 0.0498).
Vaccine effectiveness was 76% (95% CI, 20−93; P = 0.01) for patients who were less than 65 years of age and −14% (95% CI, −107 to 38; P = 0.8) for those who were 65 years of age or older. Vaccine effectiveness for patients with a FEV1 less than 40% predicted and FEV1 greater than or equal to 40% predicted was 48% (95% CI, −7 to 80; P = 0.08) and −11% (95% CI, −132 to 47; P = 0.95), respectively. For patients who were less than 65 years of age (FEV1 < 40% predicted), vaccine effectiveness was 91% (95% CI, 35−99; P = 0.002).
Cox modelling showed that the effectiveness of the vaccine was dependent on the age of the patient. The vaccine was not effective in patients 65 years of age or older (hazard ratio, 1.53; 95% CI, 0.61−a2.17; P = 0.66) but it reduced the risk of acquiring pneumonia by 80% in patients less than 65 years of age (hazard ratio, 0.19; 95% CI, 0.06−0.66; P = 0.01).
safety
No patients reported any local or systemic adverse reactions to the vaccine.
PMCID: PMC3384373  PMID: 23074431
6.  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
7.  Serotype-Specific Changes in Invasive Pneumococcal Disease after Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine Introduction: A Pooled Analysis of Multiple Surveillance Sites 
PLoS Medicine  2013;10(9):e1001517.
In a pooled analysis of data collected from invasive pneumococcal disease surveillance databases, Daniel Feikin and colleagues examine serotype replacement after the introduction of 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7) into national immunization programs.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Background
Vaccine-serotype (VT) invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) rates declined substantially following introduction of 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7) into national immunization programs. Increases in non-vaccine-serotype (NVT) IPD rates occurred in some sites, presumably representing serotype replacement. We used a standardized approach to describe serotype-specific IPD changes among multiple sites after PCV7 introduction.
Methods and Findings
Of 32 IPD surveillance datasets received, we identified 21 eligible databases with rate data ≥2 years before and ≥1 year after PCV7 introduction. Expected annual rates of IPD absent PCV7 introduction were estimated by extrapolation using either Poisson regression modeling of pre-PCV7 rates or averaging pre-PCV7 rates. To estimate whether changes in rates had occurred following PCV7 introduction, we calculated site specific rate ratios by dividing observed by expected IPD rates for each post-PCV7 year. We calculated summary rate ratios (RRs) using random effects meta-analysis. For children <5 years old, overall IPD decreased by year 1 post-PCV7 (RR 0·55, 95% CI 0·46–0·65) and remained relatively stable through year 7 (RR 0·49, 95% CI 0·35–0·68). Point estimates for VT IPD decreased annually through year 7 (RR 0·03, 95% CI 0·01–0·10), while NVT IPD increased (year 7 RR 2·81, 95% CI 2·12–3·71). Among adults, decreases in overall IPD also occurred but were smaller and more variable by site than among children. At year 7 after introduction, significant reductions were observed (18–49 year-olds [RR 0·52, 95% CI 0·29–0·91], 50–64 year-olds [RR 0·84, 95% CI 0·77–0·93], and ≥65 year-olds [RR 0·74, 95% CI 0·58–0·95]).
Conclusions
Consistent and significant decreases in both overall and VT IPD in children occurred quickly and were sustained for 7 years after PCV7 introduction, supporting use of PCVs. Increases in NVT IPD occurred in most sites, with variable magnitude. These findings may not represent the experience in low-income countries or the effects after introduction of higher valency PCVs. High-quality, population-based surveillance of serotype-specific IPD rates is needed to monitor vaccine impact as more countries, including low-income countries, introduce PCVs and as higher valency PCVs are used.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors’ Summary
Background
Pneumococcal disease–a major cause of illness and death in children and adults worldwide–is caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae, a bacterium that often colonizes the nose and throat harmlessly. Unfortunately, S. pneumoniae occasionally spreads into the lungs, bloodstream, or covering of the brain, where it causes pneumonia, septicemia, and meningitis, respectively. These invasive pneumococcal diseases (IPDs) can usually be successfully treated with antibiotics but can be fatal. Consequently, it is better to avoid infection through vaccination. Vaccination primes the immune system to recognize and attack disease-causing organisms (pathogens) rapidly and effectively by exposing it to weakened or dead pathogens or to pathogen molecules that it recognizes as foreign (antigens). Because there are more than 90 S. pneumoniae variants or “serotypes,” each characterized by a different antigenic polysaccharide (complex sugar) coat, vaccines that protect against S. pneumoniae have to include multiple serotypes. Thus, the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine PCV7, which was introduced into the US infant immunization regimen in 2000, contains polysaccharides from the seven S. pneumoniae serotypes mainly responsible for IPD in the US at that time.
Why Was This Study Done?
Vaccination with PCV7 was subsequently introduced in several other high- and middle-income countries, and IPD caused by the serotypes included in the vaccine declined substantially in children and in adults (because of reduced bacterial transmission and herd protection) in the US and virtually all these countries. However, increases in IPD caused by non-vaccine serotypes occurred in some settings, presumably because of “serotype replacement.” PCV7 prevents both IPD caused by the serotypes it contains and carriage of these serotypes. Consequently, after vaccination, previously less common, non-vaccine serotypes can colonize the nose and throat, some of which can cause IPD. In July 2010, a World Health Organization expert consultation on serotype replacement called for a comprehensive analysis of the magnitude and variability of pneumococcal serotype replacement following PCV7 use to help guide the introduction of PCVs in low-income countries, where most pneumococcal deaths occur. In this pooled analysis of data from multiple surveillance sites, the researchers investigate serotype-specific changes in IPD after PCV7 introduction using a standardized approach.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers identified 21 databases that had data about the rate of IPD for at least 2 years before and 1 year after PCV7 introduction. They estimated whether changes in IPD rates had occurred after PCV7 introduction by calculating site-specific rate ratios–the observed IPD rate for each post-PCV7 year divided by the expected IPD rate in the absence of PCV7 extrapolated from the pre-PCV7 rate. Finally, they used a statistical approach (random effects meta-analysis) to estimate summary (pooled) rate ratios. For children under 5 years old, the overall number of observed cases of IPD in the first year after the introduction of PCV7 was about half the expected number; this reduction in IPD continued through year 7 after PCV7 introduction. Notably, the rate of IPD caused by the S. pneumonia serotypes in PCV7 decreased every year, but the rate of IPD caused by non-vaccine serotypes increased annually. By year 7, the number of cases of IPD caused by non-vaccine serotypes was 3-fold higher than expected, but was still smaller than the decrease in vaccine serotypes, thereby leading to the decrease in overall IPD. Finally, smaller decreases in overall IPD also occurred among adults but occurred later than in children 2 years or more after PCV7 introduction.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings show that consistent, rapid, and sustained decreases in overall IPD and in IPD caused by serotypes included in PCV7 occurred in children and thus support the use of PCVs. The small increases in IPD caused by non-vaccine serotypes that these findings reveal are likely to be the result of serotype replacement, but changes in antibiotic use and other factors may also be involved. These findings have several important limitations, however. For example, PCV7 is no longer made and extrapolation of these results to newer PCV10 and PCV13 formulations should be done cautiously. On the other hand, many of the serotypes causing serotype replacement after PCV7 are included in these higher valency vaccines. Moreover, because the data analyzed in this study mainly came from high-income countries, these findings may not be generalizable to low-income countries. Nevertheless, based on their analysis, the researchers make recommendations for the collection and analysis of IPD surveillance data that should allow valid interpretations of the effect of PCVs on IPD to be made, an important requisite for making sound policy decisions about vaccination against pneumococcal disease.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001517.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides information for patients and health professionals on all aspects of pneumococcal disease and pneumococcal vaccination, including personal stories
Public Health England provides information on pneumococcal disease and on pneumococcal vaccines
The World Health Organization also provides information on pneumococcal vaccines
The not-for-profit Immunization Action Coalition has information on pneumococcal disease, including personal stories
MedlinePlus has links to further information about pneumococcal infections (in English and Spanish)
The International Vaccine Access Center at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health has more information on introduction of pneumococcal conjugate vaccines in low-income countries
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001517
PMCID: PMC3782411  PMID: 24086113
8.  Impact of Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccination of Infants on Pneumonia and Influenza Hospitalization and Mortality in All Age Groups in the United States 
mBio  2011;2(1):e00309-10.
A seven-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7) introduced in the United States in 2000 has been shown to reduce invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) in both vaccinated children and adults through induction of herd immunity. We assessed the impact of infant immunization on pneumococcal pneumonia hospitalizations and mortality in all age groups using Health Care Utilization Project State Inpatient Databases (SID) for 1996 to 2006 from 10 states; SID contain 100% samples of ICD9-coded hospitalization data for the selected states. Compared to a 1996–1997 through 1998–1999 baseline, by the 2005–2006 season, both IPD and pneumococcal pneumonia hospitalizations and deaths had decreased substantially in all age groups, including a 47% (95% confidence interval [CI], 38 to 54%) reduction in nonbacteremic pneumococcal pneumonia (ICD9 code 481 with no codes indicating IPD) in infants <2 years old and a 54% reduction (CI, 53 to 56%) in adults ≥65 years of age. A model developed to calculate the total burden of pneumococcal pneumonia prevented by infant PCV7 vaccination in the United States from 2000 to 2006 estimated a reduction of 788,838 (CI, 695,406 to 875,476) hospitalizations for pneumococcal pneumonia. Ninety percent of the reduction in model-attributed pneumococcal pneumonia hospitalizations occurred through herd immunity among adults 18 years old and older; similar proportions were found in pneumococcal disease mortality prevented by the vaccine. In the first seasons after PCV introduction, when there were substantial state differences in coverage among <5-year-olds, states with greater coverage had significantly fewer influenza-associated pneumonia hospitalizations among children, suggesting that PCV7 use also reduces influenza-attributable pneumonia hospitalizations.
IMPORTANCE
Pneumonia is the world’s leading cause of death in children and the leading infectious cause of death among U.S. adults 65 years old and older. Pneumococcal conjugate vaccination of infants has previously been shown to reduce invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) among seniors through prevention of pneumococcal transmission from infants to adults (herd immunity). Our analysis documents a significant vaccine-associated reduction not only in IPD but also in pneumococcal pneumonia hospitalizations and inpatient mortality rates among both vaccinated children and unvaccinated adults. We estimate that fully 90% of the reduction in the pneumonia hospitalization burden occurred among adults. Moreover, states that more rapidly introduced their infant pneumococcal immunization programs had greater reductions in influenza-associated pneumonia hospitalization of children, presumably because the vaccine acts to prevent the pneumococcal pneumonia that frequently follows influenza virus infection. Our results indicate that seven-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine use has yielded far greater benefits through herd immunity than have previously been recognized.
doi:10.1128/mBio.00309-10
PMCID: PMC3025524  PMID: 21264063
9.  Efficacy of Pneumococcal Nontypable Haemophilus influenzae Protein D Conjugate Vaccine (PHiD-CV) in Young Latin American Children: A Double-Blind Randomized Controlled Trial 
PLoS Medicine  2014;11(6):e1001657.
In a double-blind randomized controlled trial, Xavier Saez-Llorens and colleagues examine the vaccine efficacy of PHiD-CV against community-acquired pneumonia in young children in Panama, Argentina, and Columbia.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Background
The relationship between pneumococcal conjugate vaccine–induced antibody responses and protection against community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) and acute otitis media (AOM) is unclear. This study assessed the impact of the ten-valent pneumococcal nontypable Haemophilus influenzae protein D conjugate vaccine (PHiD-CV) on these end points. The primary objective was to demonstrate vaccine efficacy (VE) in a per-protocol analysis against likely bacterial CAP (B-CAP: radiologically confirmed CAP with alveolar consolidation/pleural effusion on chest X-ray, or non-alveolar infiltrates and C-reactive protein ≥ 40 µg/ml); other protocol-specified outcomes were also assessed.
Methods and Findings
This phase III double-blind randomized controlled study was conducted between 28 June 2007 and 28 July 2011 in Argentine, Panamanian, and Colombian populations with good access to health care. Approximately 24,000 infants received PHiD-CV or hepatitis control vaccine (hepatitis B for primary vaccination, hepatitis A at booster) at 2, 4, 6, and 15–18 mo of age. Interim analysis of the primary end point was planned when 535 first B-CAP episodes, occurring ≥2 wk after dose 3, were identified in the per-protocol cohort. After a mean follow-up of 23 mo (PHiD-CV, n = 10,295; control, n = 10,201), per-protocol VE was 22.0% (95% CI: 7.7, 34.2; one-sided p = 0.002) against B-CAP (conclusive for primary objective) and 25.7% (95% CI: 8.4%, 39.6%) against World Health Organization–defined consolidated CAP. Intent-to-treat VE was 18.2% (95% CI: 5.5%, 29.1%) against B-CAP and 23.4% (95% CI: 8.8%, 35.7%) against consolidated CAP. End-of-study per-protocol analyses were performed after a mean follow-up of 28–30 mo for CAP and invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) (PHiD-CV, n = 10,211; control, n = 10,140) and AOM (n = 3,010 and 2,979, respectively). Per-protocol VE was 16.1% (95% CI: −1.1%, 30.4%; one-sided p = 0.032) against clinically confirmed AOM, 67.1% (95% CI: 17.0%, 86.9%) against vaccine serotype clinically confirmed AOM, 100% (95% CI: 74.3%, 100%) against vaccine serotype IPD, and 65.0% (95% CI: 11.1%, 86.2%) against any IPD. Results were consistent between intent-to-treat and per-protocol analyses. Serious adverse events were reported for 21.5% (95% CI: 20.7%, 22.2%) and 22.6% (95% CI: 21.9%, 23.4%) of PHiD-CV and control recipients, respectively. There were 19 deaths (n = 11,798; 0.16%) in the PHiD-CV group and 26 deaths (n = 11,799; 0.22%) in the control group. A significant study limitation was the lower than expected number of captured AOM cases.
Conclusions
Efficacy was demonstrated against a broad range of pneumococcal diseases commonly encountered in young children in clinical practice.
Trial registration
www.ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00466947
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Pneumococcal diseases are illnesses caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria, pathogens (disease-causing organisms) that are transmitted through contact with infected respiratory secretions. S. pneumoniae causes mucosal diseases–infections of the lining of the body cavities that are connected to the outside world–such as community-acquired pneumonia (CAP; lung infection) and acute otitis media (AOM; middle-ear infection). It also causes invasive pneumococcal diseases (IPDs) such as septicemia and meningitis (infections of the bloodstream and the covering of the brain, respectively). Although pneumococcal diseases can sometimes be treated with antibiotics, CAP and IPDs are leading global causes of childhood deaths, particularly in developing countries. It is best therefore to avoid S. pneumoniae infections through vaccination. Vaccination primes the immune system to recognize and attack 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 (“serotypes”), each characterized by a different antigenic polysaccharide (complex sugar) coat, S. pneumoniae vaccines have to include antigens from multiple serotypes. For example, the PHiD-CV vaccine contains polysaccharides from ten S. pneumoniae serotypes.
Why Was This Study Done?
Although in most countries PHiD-CV has been licensed for protection against IPD and pneumococcal AOM, at the time of study, it was not known how well it protected against CAP and overall AOM, which are important public health problems. In this double-blind randomized controlled trial (the Clinical Otitis Media and Pneumonia Study; COMPAS), the researchers investigate the efficacy of PHiD-CV against CAP and AOM and assess other clinical end points, such as IPD, in Latin American infants. Double-blind randomized controlled trials compare the effects of interventions by assigning study participants to different interventions randomly and measuring predefined outcomes without the study participants or researchers knowing who has received which intervention until the trial is completed. Vaccine efficacy is the reduction in the incidence of a disease (the number of new cases that occur in a population in a given time) among trial participants who receive the vaccine compared to the incidence among participants who do not receive the vaccine.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers enrolled around 24,000 infants living in urban areas of Argentina, Panama, and Colombia. Half the infants were given PHiD-CV at 2, 4, and 6 months of age and a booster dose at age 15–18 months. The remaining infants were given a hepatitis control vaccine at the same intervals. The trial's primary end point was likely bacterial CAP (B-CAP) –radiologically confirmed CAP, with the airspaces (alveoli) in the lungs filled with liquid instead of gas (alveolar consolidation) or with non-alveolar infiltrates and raised blood levels of C-reactive protein (a marker of inflammation). In a planned interim analysis, which was undertaken after an average follow-up of 23 months, the vaccine efficacy in the per-protocol cohort (the group of participants who actually received their assigned intervention) was 22% against B-CAP. Intent-to-treat vaccine efficacy in the interim analysis (which considered all the trial participants regardless of whether they received their assigned intervention) was 18.2%. At the end of the study (average follow up 30 months), the vaccine efficacy against B-CAP was 18.2% and 16.7% in the per-protocol and intent-to-treat cohorts, respectively. Per-protocol vaccine efficacies against clinically confirmed AOM and vaccine serotype AOM were 16.1% and 67.1%, respectively. Against any IPD and against vaccine serotype IPD, the respective vaccine efficacies were 65% and 100%. Finally, about one-fifth of children who received PHiD-CV and a similar proportion who received the control vaccine experienced a serious adverse event (for example, gastroenteritis); 19 children who received PHiD-CV died compared to 26 children who received the control vaccine.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings indicate that in Latin America, a region with an intermediate burden of pneumococcal disease, PHiD-CV is efficacious against a broad range of pneumococcal diseases that often affect young children. The accuracy of these findings may be limited by the withdrawal of 14% of participants from the trial because of adverse media coverage and by the low number of reported cases of AOM. Moreover, because most study participants lived in urban areas, these findings may not be generalizable to rural settings. Despite these and other study limitations, these findings provide new information about the magnitude of the effect of PHiD-CV vaccination against CAP and AOM, two mucosal pneumococcal diseases of global public health importance.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001657.
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 not-for-profit Immunization Action Coalition has information on pneumococcal disease, including personal stories
The GAVI Alliance provides information about pneumococcal disease and the importance of vaccination
MedlinePlus has links to further information about pneumococcal infections, including pneumonia and otitis media (in English and Spanish)
More information about COMPAS is available
The European Medicines Agency provides information about PHiD-CV (Synflorix)
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001657
PMCID: PMC4043495  PMID: 24892763
10.  Evaluation of Coseasonality of Influenza and Invasive Pneumococcal Disease: Results from Prospective Surveillance 
PLoS Medicine  2011;8(6):e1001042.
Using a combination of modeling and statistical analyses, David Fisman and colleagues show that influenza likely influences the incidence of invasive pneumococcal disease by enhancing risk of invasion in colonized individuals.
Background
The wintertime co-occurrence of peaks in influenza and invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) is well documented, but how and whether wintertime peaks caused by these two pathogens are causally related is still uncertain. We aimed to investigate the relationship between influenza infection and IPD in Ontario, Canada, using several complementary methodological tools.
Methods and Findings
We evaluated a total number of 38,501 positive influenza tests in Central Ontario and 6,191 episodes of IPD in the Toronto/Peel area, Ontario, Canada, between 1 January 1995 and 3 October 2009, reported through population-based surveillance. We assessed the relationship between the seasonal wave forms for influenza and IPD using fast Fourier transforms in order to examine the relationship between these two pathogens over yearly timescales. We also used three complementary statistical methods (time-series methods, negative binomial regression, and case-crossover methods) to evaluate the short-term effect of influenza dynamics on pneumococcal risk. Annual periodicity with wintertime peaks could be demonstrated for IPD, whereas periodicity for influenza was less regular. As for long-term effects, phase and amplitude terms of pneumococcal and influenza seasonal sine waves were not correlated and meta-analysis confirmed significant heterogeneity of influenza, but not pneumococcal phase terms. In contrast, influenza was shown to Granger-cause pneumococcal disease. A short-term association between IPD and influenza could be demonstrated for 1-week lags in both case-crossover (odds ratio [95% confidence interval] for one case of IPD per 100 influenza cases  = 1.10 [1.02–1.18]) and negative binomial regression analysis (incidence rate ratio [95% confidence interval] for one case of IPD per 100 influenza cases  = 1.09 [1.05–1.14]).
Conclusions
Our data support the hypothesis that influenza influences bacterial disease incidence by enhancing short-term risk of invasion in colonized individuals. The absence of correlation between seasonal waveforms, on the other hand, suggests that bacterial disease transmission is affected to a lesser extent.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Although some pathogens (disease-causing organisms) cause illness all year round, others are responsible for seasonal peaks of illness. These peaks occur because of a complex interplay of factors such as the loss of immunity to the pathogen over time and seasonal changes in the pathogen's ability to infect new individuals. Thus, in temperate countries in the northern hemisphere, illness caused by influenza viruses (pathogens that infect the nose, throat, and airways) usually peaks between December and March, perhaps because weather conditions during these months favor the survival of influenza virus in the environment and thus increase its chances of being transferred among people. Another illness that peaks during the winter months in temperate regions is pneumonia, a severe lung infection that is often caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae. These bacteria can colonize the back of the throat without causing disease but occasionally spread into the lungs and other organs where they cause potentially fatal invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD).
Why Was This Study Done?
Although the co-occurrence of seasonal peaks of influenza and IPD is well documented, it is unclear whether (or how) these peaks are causally related. For example, do the peaks of influenza and IPD both occur in the winter because influenza enhances person-to-person transmission of S. pneumoniae (hypothesis 1)? Alternatively, do the diseases co-occur because influenza infection increases the risk of IPD in individuals who are already colonized with S. pneumoniae (hypothesis 2)? Healthcare professionals need to know whether there is a causal relationship between influenza and IPD so that they can target vaccination for both diseases to those individuals most at risk of developing the potentially serious complications of these diseases. In this study, the researchers use several mathematical and statistical methods and data on influenza and IPD collected in Ontario, Canada to investigate the relationship between these seasonal illnesses.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
Between January 1995 and October 2009, 38,501 positive influenza tests were recorded in Ontario by the Canadian national influenza surveillance network. Over the same time period, the Toronto Invasive Bacterial Diseases Network (a group of hospitals, laboratories, and doctors that undertakes population-based surveillance for serious bacterial infections in the Toronto and Peel Regions of Ontario) recorded 6,191 IPD episodes. The researchers used a mathematical method called fast Fourier transforms that compares the shape of wave forms to look for any relationship between infections with the two pathogens over yearly timescales (a test of hypothesis 1) and three statistical methods to evaluate the short-term effect of influenza dynamics on IPD risk (tests of hypothesis 2). Although they found wintertime peaks for infections with both pathogens, there was no correlation between the seasonal wave forms for influenza and IPD. That is, there was no relationship between the seasonal patterns of the two infections. By contrast, two of the statistical methods used to test hypothesis 2 revealed a short-term association between infections with influenza and with IPD. Moreover, the third statistical method (the Granger causality Wald test, a type of time-series analysis) provided evidence that data collected at intervals on influenza can be used to predict peaks in IPD infections.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings support (but do not prove) the hypothesis that influenza influences IPD incidence by enhancing the short-term risk of bacterial invasion in individuals already colonized with S. pneumoniae, possibly by increasing the permeability of the lining of the airways to bacteria. By contrast, the lack of correlation between the seasonal wave forms for the two diseases suggests that person-to-person transfer of S. pneumoniae is affected by influenza infections to a lesser extent. These findings have important implications for disease control policy. First, they suggest that the increased number of influenza infections in pandemic years may not necessarily be accompanied by a marked surge in IPD. Second, because the findings suggest that some cases of IPD may be influenza-attributable, the extension of influenza vaccination to school-age children and young adults (a group of people at particular risk of IPD who are not normally vaccinated against influenza) could reduce the incidence of IPD as well as the incidence of influenza.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0015493
A related research article by the same authors evaluating links between respiratory viruses and invasive meningococcal disease can be found in PLoS One (e0015493)
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides information for patients and health professionals on all aspects of seasonal influenza and pneumococcal disease and pneumococcal vaccination
The UK National Health Service Choices website also provides information for patients about seasonal influenza and pneumococcal infection
MedlinePlus has links to further information about influenza and pneumococcal infections (in English and Spanish)
FluWatch is the Canadian national surveillance system for influenza
More information about the Toronto Invasive Bacterial Network is available
The International Association for Ecology and Health provides information on the physical environment and its influence on health
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001042
PMCID: PMC3110256  PMID: 21687693
11.  Prevention of pneumococcal diseases in the post-seven valent vaccine era: A European perspective 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2012;12:207.
Background
The burden of invasive pneumococcal disease in young children decreased dramatically following introduction of the 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7). The epidemiology of S. pneumoniae now reflects infections caused by serotypes not included in PCV7. Recently introduced higher valency pneumococcal vaccines target the residual burden of invasive and non-invasive infections, including those caused by serotypes not included in PCV7. This review is based on presentations made at the European Society of Pediatric Infectious Diseases in June 2011.
Discussion
Surveillance data show increased circulation of the non-PCV7 vaccine serotypes 1, 3, 6A, 6C, 7 F and 19A in countries with routine vaccination. Preliminary evidence suggests that broadened serotype coverage offered by higher valency vaccines may be having an effect on invasive disease caused by some of those serotypes, including 19A, 7 F and 6C. Aetiology of community acquired pneumonia remains a difficult clinical diagnosis. However, recent reports indicate that pneumococcal vaccination has reduced hospitalisations of children for vaccine serotype pneumonia. Variations in serotype circulation and occurrence of complicated and non-complicated pneumonia caused by non-PCV7 serotypes highlight the potential of higher valency vaccines to decrease the remaining burden. PCVs reduce nasopharyngeal carriage and acute otitis media (AOM) caused by vaccine serotypes. Recent investigations of the interaction between S. pneumoniae and non-typeable H. influenzae suggest that considerable reduction in severe, complicated AOM infections may be achieved by prevention of early pneumococcal carriage and AOM infections. Extension of the vaccine serotype spectrum beyond PCV7 may provide additional benefit in preventing the evolution of AOM. The direct and indirect costs associated with pneumococcal disease are high, thus herd protection and infections caused by non-vaccine serotypes both have strong effects on the cost effectiveness of pneumococcal vaccination. Recent evaluations highlight the public health significance of indirect benefits, prevention of pneumonia and AOM and coverage of non-PCV7 serotypes by higher valency vaccines.
Summary
Routine vaccination has greatly reduced the burden of pneumococcal diseases in children. The pneumococcal serotypes present in the 7-valent vaccine have greatly diminished among disease isolates. The prevalence of some non-vaccine serotypes (e.g. 1, 7 F and 19A) has increased. Pneumococcal vaccines with broadened serotype coverage are likely to continue decreasing the burden of invasive disease, and community acquired pneumonia in children. Further reductions in pneumococcal carriage and increased prevention of early AOM infections may prevent the evolution of severe, complicated AOM. Evaluation of the public health benefits of pneumococcal conjugate vaccines should include consideration of non-invasive pneumococcal infections, indirect effects of vaccination and broadened serotype coverage.
doi:10.1186/1471-2334-12-207
PMCID: PMC3462147  PMID: 22954038
Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine; Invasive pneumococcal disease; Community-acquired pneumonia; Acute otitis media; Vaccine serotype coverage; Epidemiology-incidence
12.  Interleukin-17A Mediates Acquired Immunity to Pneumococcal Colonization 
PLoS Pathogens  2008;4(9):e1000159.
Although anticapsular antibodies confer serotype-specific immunity to pneumococci, children increase their ability to clear colonization before these antibodies appear, suggesting involvement of other mechanisms. We previously reported that intranasal immunization of mice with pneumococci confers CD4+ T cell–dependent, antibody- and serotype-independent protection against colonization. Here we show that this immunity, rather than preventing initiation of carriage, accelerates clearance over several days, accompanied by neutrophilic infiltration of the nasopharyngeal mucosa. Adoptive transfer of immune CD4+ T cells was sufficient to confer immunity to naïve RAG1−/− mice. A critical role of interleukin (IL)-17A was demonstrated: mice lacking interferon-γ or IL-4 were protected, but not mice lacking IL-17A receptor or mice with neutrophil depletion. In vitro expression of IL-17A in response to pneumococci was assayed: lymphoid tissue from vaccinated mice expressed significantly more IL-17A than controls, and IL-17A expression from peripheral blood samples from immunized mice predicted protection in vivo. IL-17A was elicited by pneumococcal stimulation of tonsillar cells of children or adult blood but not cord blood. IL-17A increased pneumococcal killing by human neutrophils both in the absence and in the presence of antibodies and complement. We conclude that IL-17A mediates pneumococcal immunity in mice and probably in humans; its elicitation in vitro could help in the development of candidate pneumococcal vaccines.
Author Summary
The bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus) causes serious disease in children and the elderly, including pneumonia and meningitis (inflammation of the brain). Carriage of pneumococcus in the nose is a necessary first step for most infections. As children age, they carry pneumococcus for shorter periods of time and their risk of disease decreases also. The mechanisms underlying this age-related decrease of carriage are not well understood. A deeper understanding of resistance to colonization would enable us to develop better pneumococcal vaccines. Using experimental mouse models, we show that repeated exposure to pneumococci leads to a subsequent reduction in duration of pneumococcal carriage, similar to what is observed in humans. We identify the immune cells that are responsible for this process, so-called TH17 cells, which release a factor that enables human blood cells to kill pneumococcus more efficiently. We show that these TH17 cells exist in adults and children, but not in newborn babies, which suggests that they may arise as a consequence of humans being exposed to pneumococcus. We describe an assay for the measurement of these cells in humans. Such an assay could facilitate the development of novel vaccines directed against pneumococcal carriage.
doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1000159
PMCID: PMC2528945  PMID: 18802458
13.  Experimental Human Pneumococcal Carriage Augments IL-17A-dependent T-cell Defence of the Lung 
PLoS Pathogens  2013;9(3):e1003274.
Pneumococcal carriage is both immunising and a pre-requisite for mucosal and systemic disease. Murine models of pneumococcal colonisation show that IL-17A-secreting CD4+ T-cells (Th-17 cells) are essential for clearance of pneumococci from the nasopharynx. Pneumococcal-responding IL-17A-secreting CD4+ T-cells have not been described in the adult human lung and it is unknown whether they can be elicited by carriage and protect the lung from pneumococcal infection. We investigated the direct effect of experimental human pneumococcal nasal carriage (EHPC) on the frequency and phenotype of cognate CD4+ T-cells in broncho-alveolar lavage and blood using multi-parameter flow cytometry. We then examined whether they could augment ex vivo alveolar macrophage killing of pneumococci using an in vitro assay. We showed that human pneumococcal carriage leads to a 17.4-fold (p = 0.007) and 8-fold (p = 0.003) increase in the frequency of cognate IL-17A+ CD4+ T-cells in BAL and blood, respectively. The phenotype with the largest proportion were TNF+/IL-17A+ co-producing CD4+ memory T-cells (p<0.01); IFNγ+ CD4+ memory T-cells were not significantly increased following carriage. Pneumococci could stimulate large amounts of IL-17A protein from BAL cells in the absence of carriage but in the presence of cognate CD4+ memory T-cells, IL-17A protein levels were increased by a further 50%. Further to this we then show that alveolar macrophages, which express IL-17A receptors A and C, showed enhanced killing of opsonised pneumococci when stimulated with rhIL-17A (p = 0.013). Killing negatively correlated with RC (r = −0.9, p = 0.017) but not RA expression. We conclude that human pneumococcal carriage can increase the proportion of lung IL-17A-secreting CD4+ memory T-cells that may enhance innate cellular immunity against pathogenic challenge. These pathways may be utilised to enhance vaccine efficacy to protect the lung against pneumonia.
Author Summary
Pneumococcal carriage is an important step in the development of cellular and humoral pneumococcal immunity but paradoxically may lead to mucosal diseases such as pneumonia. The frequency of carriage and pneumonia in young healthy adults is very low despite frequent exposures suggesting the presence of appropriate mucosal defences. Lung mucosal immunity against the pneumococcus is poorly described in humans and lags behind recent advances in our understanding of protective cellular responses in mice. We have therefore developed a method to experimentally induce pneumococcal carriage in healthy adults in order to provide a mechanistic insight into the protective responses elicited at the lung surface. We were able to produce carriage in healthy adults and show that – in the absence of respiratory symptoms or local lung inflammation – pneumococcal-responding (adaptive) cellular responses are increased to a large extent. We also provide evidence of cellular cross-talk between lung sentinels and the pneumococcal-responding adaptive response that may help prevent lung infection in humans. Manipulation of this response may provide novel therapeutic approaches to prevent pneumonia. Furthermore these tools allow better interpretation of defective responses in at risk individuals such as the elderly.
doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1003274
PMCID: PMC3610738  PMID: 23555269
14.  Optimal Serotype Compositions for Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccination under Serotype Replacement 
PLoS Computational Biology  2014;10(2):e1003477.
Pneumococcal conjugate vaccination has proved highly effective in eliminating vaccine-type pneumococcal carriage and disease. However, the potential adverse effects of serotype replacement remain a major concern when implementing routine childhood pneumococcal conjugate vaccination programmes. Applying a concise predictive model, we present a ready-to-use quantitative tool to investigate the implications of serotype replacement on the net effectiveness of vaccination against invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) and to guide in the selection of optimal vaccine serotype compositions. We utilise pre-vaccination data on pneumococcal carriage and IPD and assume partial or complete elimination of vaccine-type carriage, its replacement by non-vaccine-type carriage, and stable case-to-carrier ratios (probability of IPD per carriage episode). The model predicts that the post-vaccination IPD incidences in Finland for currently available vaccine serotype compositions can eventually decrease among the target age group of children <5 years of age by 75%. However, due to replacement through herd effects, the decrease among the older population is predicted to be much less (20–40%). We introduce a sequential algorithm for the search of optimal serotype compositions and assess the robustness of inferences to uncertainties in data and assumptions about carriage and IPD. The optimal serotype composition depends on the age group of interest and some serotypes may be highly beneficial vaccine types in one age category (e.g. 6B in children), while being disadvantageous in another. The net effectiveness will be improved only if the added serotype has a higher case-to-carrier ratio than the average case-to-carrier ratio of the current non-vaccine types and the degree of improvement in effectiveness depends on the carriage incidence of the serotype. The serotype compositions of currently available pneumococcal vaccines are not optimal and the effectiveness of vaccination in the population at large could be improved by including new serotypes in the vaccine (e.g. 22 and 9N).
Author Summary
The bacterial pathogen Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus) is a major contributor to child mortality worldwide. Hence, effective pneumococcal vaccination programmes are globally among the most cost-effective public health interventions. Three different conjugate vaccine compositions, targeting 7, 10 or 13 pneumococcal serotypes, have been used in infant vaccination programmes. The use of these vaccines has both decreased the disease burden and changed the patterns of pneumococcal carriage in locations where they have been in use. However, due to serotype replacement, where the lost vaccine serotype carriage is replaced by carriage of the non-vaccine serotypes, the net effect of vaccination on the disease burden has generally been milder than expected. Here, we apply a concise model for serotype replacement and present a ready-to-use tool for the prediction of patterns in post-vaccination pneumococcal incidence of carriage and invasive disease. We introduce a sequential algorithm for the identification of the most optimal additional serotypes to current vaccine formulations and demonstrate how differences in the invasiveness across serotypes imply that the disease incidence may either decrease or increase after vaccination. The methods we outline have direct relevance in decision making while reviewing the performance of the current pneumococcal vaccination programmes.
doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1003477
PMCID: PMC3923658  PMID: 24550722
15.  Association of Secondhand Smoke Exposure with Pediatric Invasive Bacterial Disease and Bacterial Carriage: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis 
PLoS Medicine  2010;7(12):e1000374.
Majid Ezzati and colleagues report the findings of a systematic review and meta-analysis that probes the association between environmental exposure to secondhand smoke and the epidemiology of pediatric invasive bacterial disease.
Background
A number of epidemiologic studies have observed an association between secondhand smoke (SHS) exposure and pediatric invasive bacterial disease (IBD) but the evidence has not been systematically reviewed. We carried out a systematic review and meta-analysis of SHS exposure and two outcomes, IBD and pharyngeal carriage of bacteria, for Neisseria meningitidis (N. meningitidis), Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib), and Streptococcus pneumoniae (S. pneumoniae).
Methods and Findings
Two independent reviewers searched Medline, EMBASE, and selected other databases, and screened articles for inclusion and exclusion criteria. We identified 30 case-control studies on SHS and IBD, and 12 cross-sectional studies on SHS and bacterial carriage. Weighted summary odd ratios (ORs) were calculated for each outcome and for studies with specific design and quality characteristics. Tests for heterogeneity and publication bias were performed. Compared with those unexposed to SHS, summary OR for SHS exposure was 2.02 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.52–2.69) for invasive meningococcal disease, 1.21 (95% CI 0.69–2.14) for invasive pneumococcal disease, and 1.22 (95% CI 0.93–1.62) for invasive Hib disease. For pharyngeal carriage, summary OR was 1.68 (95% CI, 1.19–2.36) for N. meningitidis, 1.66 (95% CI 1.33–2.07) for S. pneumoniae, and 0.96 (95% CI 0.48–1.95) for Hib. The association between SHS exposure and invasive meningococcal and Hib diseases was consistent regardless of outcome definitions, age groups, study designs, and publication year. The effect estimates were larger in studies among children younger than 6 years of age for all three IBDs, and in studies with the more rigorous laboratory-confirmed diagnosis for invasive meningococcal disease (summary OR 3.24; 95% CI 1.72–6.13).
Conclusions
When considered together with evidence from direct smoking and biological mechanisms, our systematic review and meta-analysis indicates that SHS exposure may be associated with invasive meningococcal disease. The epidemiologic evidence is currently insufficient to show an association between SHS and invasive Hib disease or pneumococcal disease. Because the burden of IBD is highest in developing countries where SHS is increasing, there is a need for high-quality studies to confirm these results, and for interventions to reduce exposure of children to SHS.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
The deleterious health effects of smoking on smokers are well established, but smoking also seriously damages the health of nonsmokers. Secondhand smoke (SHS), which is released by burning cigarettes and exhaled by smokers, contains hundreds of toxic chemicals that increase the risk of adults developing lung cancer and heart disease. Children, however, are particularly vulnerable to the effects of SHS exposure (also known as passive smoking) because they are still developing physically. In addition, children have little control over their indoor environment and thus can be heavily exposed to SHS. Exposure to SHS increases the risk of ear infections, asthma, respiratory symptoms (coughing, sneezing, and breathlessness), and lung infections such as pneumonia and bronchitis in young children and the risk of sudden infant death syndrome during the first year of life.
Why Was This Study Done?
Several studies have also shown an association between SHS exposure (which damages the lining of the mouth, throat, and lungs and decreases immune defenses) and potentially fatal invasive bacterial disease (IBD) in children. In IBD, bacteria invade the body and grow in normally sterile sites such as the blood (bacteremia) and the covering of the brain (meningitis). Three organisms are mainly responsible for IBD in children—Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib), and Neisseria meningitidis. In 2000, S. pneumonia (pneumococcal disease) alone killed nearly one million children. Here, the researchers undertake a systematic review and meta-analysis of the association between SHS exposure in children and two outcomes—IBD and the presence of IBD-causing organisms in the nose and throat (bacterial carriage). A systematic review uses predefined criteria to identify all the research on a given topic; meta-analysis is a statistical method that combines the results of several studies. By combining data, it is possible to get a clearer view of the causes of a disease than is possible from individual studies.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers identified 30 case-control studies that compared the occurrence of IBD over time in children exposed to SHS with its occurrence in children not exposed to SHS. They also identified 12 cross-sectional studies that measured bacterial carriage at a single time point in children exposed and not exposed to SHS. The researchers used the data from these studies to calculate a “summary odds ratio” (OR) for each outcome—a measure of how SHS exposure affected the likelihood of each outcome. Compared with children unexposed to SHS, exposure to SHS doubled the likelihood of invasive meningococcal disease (a summary OR for SHS exposure of 2.02). Summary ORs for invasive pneumococcal disease and Hib diseases were 1.21 and 1.22, respectively. However, these small increases in the risk of developing these IBDs were not statistically significant unlike the increase in the risk of developing meningococcal disease. That is, they might have occurred by chance. For bacterial carriage, summary ORs for SHS exposure were 1.68 for N. meningitidis, 1.66 for S. pneumonia (both these ORs were statistically significant), and 0.96 for Hib (a nonsignificant decrease in risk).
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings indicate that SHS exposure is significantly associated with invasive meningococcal disease among children. However, the evidence that SHS exposure is associated with invasive pneumococcal and Hib disease is only suggestive. These findings also indicate that exposure to SHS is associated with an increased carriage of N. meningitidis and S. pneumoniae. The accuracy and generalizability of these findings is limited by the small number of studies identified, by the lack of studies from developing countries where SHS exposure is increasing and the burden of IBD is high, and by large variations between the studies in how SHS exposure was measured and IBD diagnosed. Nevertheless, they suggest that, by reducing children's exposure to SHS (by, for example, persuading parents not to smoke at home), the illness and death caused by IBDs among children could be greatly reduced. Such a reduction would be particularly welcome in developing countries where vaccination against IBDs is low.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1000374.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides information on secondhand smoke, on children and secondhand smoke exposure, on meningitis, and on Hib infection
The US Environmental Protection Agency also provides information on the health effects of exposure to secondhand smoke (in English and Spanish) and a leaflet (also in English and Spanish) entitled Secondhand Tobacco Smoke and the Health of Your Family
The US Office of the Surgeon General provides information on the health consequences of involuntary exposure to tobacco smoke
The World Health Organization provides a range of information on the global tobacco epidemic
The World Health Organization has information on meningococcal disease (in English only) and on Hib (in several languages)
The US National Foundation for Infectious Diseases provides a fact sheet on pneumococcal disease
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000374
PMCID: PMC2998445  PMID: 21151890
16.  Distinct Effects on Diversifying Selection by Two Mechanisms of Immunity against Streptococcus pneumoniae 
PLoS Pathogens  2012;8(11):e1002989.
Antigenic variation to evade host immunity has long been assumed to be a driving force of diversifying selection in pathogens. Colonization by Streptococcus pneumoniae, which is central to the organism's transmission and therefore evolution, is limited by two arms of the immune system: antibody- and T cell- mediated immunity. In particular, the effector activity of CD4+ TH17 cell mediated immunity has been shown to act in trans, clearing co-colonizing pneumococci that do not bear the relevant antigen. It is thus unclear whether TH17 cell immunity allows benefit of antigenic variation and contributes to diversifying selection. Here we show that antigen-specific CD4+ TH17 cell immunity almost equally reduces colonization by both an antigen-positive strain and a co-colonized, antigen-negative strain in a mouse model of pneumococcal carriage, thus potentially minimizing the advantage of escape from this type of immunity. Using a proteomic screening approach, we identified a list of candidate human CD4+ TH17 cell antigens. Using this list and a previously published list of pneumococcal Antibody antigens, we bioinformatically assessed the signals of diversifying selection among the identified antigens compared to non-antigens. We found that Antibody antigen genes were significantly more likely to be under diversifying selection than the TH17 cell antigen genes, which were indistinguishable from non-antigens. Within the Antibody antigens, epitopes recognized by human antibodies showed stronger evidence of diversifying selection. Taken together, the data suggest that TH17 cell-mediated immunity, one form of T cell immunity that is important to limit carriage of antigen-positive pneumococcus, favors little diversifying selection in the targeted antigen. The results could provide new insight into pneumococcal vaccine design.
Author Summary
Streptococcus pneumoniae, or pneumococcus, is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in young children and elderly persons worldwide. Current pneumococcus vaccines target a limited number of clinically important serotypes, while strains with serotypes not targeted by current vaccines are increasing in importance in both carriage and invasive disease. As a result, there has been a substantial interest to develop novel, cost-effective vaccines based on protein antigens from pneumococcus. To this end, it is critical to understand how the human immune system exerts selection pressures on the targeted antigens. Two immune mechanisms targeting pneumococcal protein antigens have been documented, mediated by antibody and T cells, respectively. In this study, we screened for pneumococcal antigens that are commonly recognized by human CD4+ TH17 cells. Using a mouse model of pneumococcal colonization, we demonstrate that TH17 cell-based immunity almost equally reduces colonization by both an antigen-positive strain and a co-colonizing, antigen-negative strain. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the DNA sequences of TH17 cell antigens demonstrate no detectable signs of being under selective pressure, unlike pneumococcal antigens known to be strong antibody targets. Thus, one form of the T cell-mediated immunity that is important to limit carriage of antigen-positive pneumococcus favors little diversifying selection in the targeted antigen. These results suggest evolution of escape from TH17 -based vaccines may be slower than from antibody-based vaccines.
doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1002989
PMCID: PMC3493470  PMID: 23144610
17.  Cost-effectiveness of new adult pneumococcal vaccination strategies in Italy 
Community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) and invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) are very relevant pathologies among elderly people (≥ 65 y old), with a consequent high disease burden. Immunization with the 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPV23) has been differently implemented in the Italian regions in the past years, reaching overall low coverage rates even in those with medical indications. In 2010, the 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13) became available and recommended in the universal Italian infant immunization program. Since October 2012, indications for use of PCV13 were extended to subjects ≥ 50 y to prevent invasive pneumococcal diseases. The Italian decision makers should now revise regional indications for the prevention of pneumococcal diseases in the elderly. Pharmaco-economic analyses represent a useful tool to value the feasibility of new immunization programs and their sustainability. Therefore, an ad hoc population model was developed in order to value the clinical and economic impact of an adult pneumococcal vaccination program in Italy.
Particularly, different immunization scenarios were modeled: vaccination of 65 y-olds (1 cohort strategy), simultaneous vaccination of people aged 65 and 70 y (double cohort strategy) and, lastly, immunization of people aged 65, 70 and 75 y (triple cohort strategy), thus leading to the vaccination of 5, 10 and 15 cohorts during the 5 y of the program. In addition, the administration of a PPV23 dose one year after PCV13 was evaluated, in order to verify the economic impact of the supplemental serotype coverage in elderly people. The mathematical model valued the clinical impact of PCV13 vaccination on the number of bacteraemic pneumococcal pneumonia (BPP) and pneumococcal meningitis (PM) cases, and related hospitalizations and deaths. Although PCV13 is not yet formally indicated for the prevention of pneumococcal CAP by the European Medicine Agency (differently from FDA, whose indications include all pneumococcal diseases in subjects ≥ 50 y), the model calculated also the possible impact of vaccination on CAP cases (non-bacteraemic), considering the rate of this disease due to S. pneumoniae. The results of the analysis show that, in Italy, an age-based PCV13 vaccination program in elderly people is cost-effective from the payer perspective, with costs per QALY ranging from 17,000 to 22,000 Euro, according to the adopted vaccination strategy. The subsequent PPV23 offer results in an increment of costs per QALY (from 21,000 to 28,000 Euro, according to the vaccination strategy adopted). Pneumococcal vaccination using the conjugate vaccine turned out to be already favorable in the second year of implementation, with incremental costs per QALY comparable to those of other already adopted prevention activities in Italy (for instance, universal HPV vaccination of 12 y-old girls), with further benefits obtained when extending the study period beyond the 5-y horizon of our analysis.
doi:10.4161/hv.23268
PMCID: PMC3891731  PMID: 23295824
pneumococcal conjugate vaccine; elderly; economic evaluation; cost-effectiveness; pneumococcal disease
18.  Antibodies to Streptococcus pneumoniae Capsular Polysaccharide Enhance Pneumococcal Quorum Sensing 
mBio  2011;2(5):e00176-11.
ABSTRACT
The use of pneumococcal capsular polysaccharide (PPS)-based vaccines has resulted in a substantial reduction in invasive pneumococcal disease. However, much remains to be learned about vaccine-mediated immunity, as seven-valent PPS-protein conjugate vaccine use in children has been associated with nonvaccine serotype replacement and 23-valent vaccine use in adults has not prevented pneumococcal pneumonia. In this report, we demonstrate that certain PPS-specific monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) enhance the transformation frequency of two different Streptococcus pneumoniae serotypes. This phenomenon was mediated by PPS-specific MAbs that agglutinate but do not promote opsonic effector cell killing of the homologous serotype in vitro. Compared to the autoinducer, competence-stimulating peptide (CSP) alone, transcriptional profiling of pneumococcal gene expression after incubation with CSP and one such MAb to the PPS of serotype 3 revealed changes in the expression of competence (com)-related and bacteriocin-like peptide (blp) genes involved in pneumococcal quorum sensing. This MAb was also found to induce a nearly 2-fold increase in CSP2-mediated bacterial killing or fratricide. These observations reveal a novel, direct effect of PPS-binding MAbs on pneumococcal biology that has important implications for antibody immunity to pneumococcus in the pneumococcal vaccine era. Taken together, our data suggest heretofore unsuspected mechanisms by which PPS-specific antibodies could affect genetic exchange and bacterial viability in the absence of host cells.
IMPORTANCE
Current thought holds that pneumococcal capsular polysaccharide (PPS)-binding antibodies protect against pneumococcus by inducing effector cell opsonic killing of the homologous serotype. While such antibodies are an important part of how pneumococcal vaccines protect against pneumococcal disease, PPS-specific antibodies that do not exhibit this activity but are highly protective against pneumococcus in mice have been identified. This article examines the effect of nonopsonic PPS-specific monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) on the biology of Streptococcus pneumoniae. The results showed that in the presence of a competence-stimulating peptide (CSP), such MAbs increase the frequency of pneumococcal transformation. Further studies with one such MAb showed that it altered the expression of genes involved in quorum sensing and increased competence-induced killing or fratricide. These findings reveal a novel, previously unsuspected mechanism by which certain PPS-specific antibodies exert a direct effect on pneumococcal biology that has broad implications for bacterial clearance, genetic exchange, and antibody immunity to pneumococcus.
doi:10.1128/mBio.00176-11
PMCID: PMC3171983  PMID: 21917597
19.  Pneumococcal Virulence Factors: Structure and Function 
The overall goal for this review is to summarize the current body of knowledge about the structure and function of major known antigens of Streptococcus pneumoniae, a major gram-positive bacterial pathogen of humans. This information is then related to the role of these proteins in pneumococcal pathogenesis and in the development of new vaccines and/or other antimicrobial agents. S. pneumoniae is the most common cause of fatal community-acquired pneumonia in the elderly and is also one of the most common causes of middle ear infections and meningitis in children. The present vaccine for the pneumococcus consists of a mixture of 23 different capsular polysaccharides. While this vaccine is very effective in young adults, who are normally at low risk of serious disease, it is only about 60% effective in the elderly. In children younger than 2 years the vaccine is ineffective and is not recommended due to the inability of this age group to mount an antibody response to the pneumococcal polysaccharides. Antimicrobial drugs such as penicillin have diminished the risk from pneumococcal disease. Several pneumococcal proteins including pneumococcal surface proteins A and C, hyaluronate lyase, pneumolysin, autolysin, pneumococcal surface antigen A, choline binding protein A, and two neuraminidase enzymes are being investigated as potential vaccine or drug targets. Essentially all of these antigens have been or are being investigated on a structural level in addition to being characterized biochemically. Recently, three-dimensional structures for hyaluronate lyase and pneumococcal surface antigen A became available from X-ray crystallography determinations. Also, modeling studies based on biophysical measurements provided more information about the structures of pneumolysin and pneumococcal surface protein A. Structural and biochemical studies of these pneumococcal virulence factors have facilitated the development of novel antibiotics or protein antigen-based vaccines as an alternative to polysaccharide-based vaccines for the treatment of pneumococcal disease.
doi:10.1128/MMBR.65.2.187-207.2001
PMCID: PMC99024  PMID: 11381099
20.  Seasonal Drivers of Pneumococcal Disease Incidence: Impact of Bacterial Carriage and Viral Activity 
The drivers of invasive pneumococcal disease seasonality are unknown. We found that pediatric cases with a pneumonia diagnosis peaked in winter and were associated with respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), whereas nonpneumonia cases peaked in autumn and were associated with variations in bacterial carriage.
Background. Winter-seasonal epidemics of pneumococcal disease provide an opportunity to understand the drivers of incidence. We sought to determine whether seasonality of invasive pneumococcal disease is caused by increased nasopharyngeal transmission of the bacteria or increased susceptibility to invasive infections driven by cocirculating winter respiratory viruses.
Methods. We analyzed pneumococcal carriage and invasive disease data collected from children <7 years old in the Navajo/White Mountain Apache populations between 1996 and 2012. Regression models were used to quantify seasonal variations in carriage prevalence, carriage density, and disease incidence. We also fit a multivariate model to determine the contribution of carriage prevalence and RSV activity to pneumococcal disease incidence while controlling for shared seasonal factors.
Results. The seasonal patterns of invasive pneumococcal disease epidemics varied significantly by clinical presentation: bacteremic pneumococcal pneumonia incidence peaked in late winter, whereas invasive nonpneumonia pneumococcal incidence peaked in autumn. Pneumococcal carriage prevalence and density also varied seasonally, with peak prevalence occurring in late autumn. In a multivariate model, RSV activity was associated with significant increases in bacteremic pneumonia cases (attributable percentage, 15.5%; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.8%–26.1%) but was not associated with invasive nonpneumonia infections (8.0%; 95% CI, −4.8% to 19.3%). In contrast, seasonal variations in carriage prevalence were associated with significant increases in invasive nonpneumonia infections (31.4%; 95% CI, 8.8%–51.4%) but not with bacteremic pneumonia.
Conclusions.The seasonality of invasive pneumococcal pneumonia could be due to increased susceptibility to invasive infection triggered by viral pathogens, whereas seasonality of other invasive pneumococcal infections might be primarily driven by increased nasopharyngeal transmission of the bacteria.
doi:10.1093/cid/cit721
PMCID: PMC3871795  PMID: 24190895
pneumococcal; co-infections; RSV; seasonality; pneumonia
21.  Streptococcus pneumoniae Serotype-2 Childhood Meningitis in Bangladesh: A Newly Recognized Pneumococcal Infection Threat 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(3):e32134.
Background
Streptococcus pneumoniae is a leading cause of meningitis in countries where pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (PCV) targeting commonly occurring serotypes are not routinely used. However, effectiveness of PCV would be jeopardized by emergence of invasive pneumococcal diseases (IPD) caused by serotypes which are not included in PCV. Systematic hospital based surveillance in Bangladesh was established and progressively improved to determine the pathogens causing childhood sepsis and meningitis. This also provided the foundation for determining the spectrum of serotypes causing IPD. This article reports an unprecedented upsurge of serotype 2, an uncommon pneumococcal serotype, without any known intervention.
Methods and Findings
Cases with suspected IPD had blood or cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) collected from the beginning of 2001 till 2009. Pneumococcal serotypes were determined by capsular swelling of isolates or PCR of culture-negative CSF specimens. Multicenter national surveillance, expanded from 2004, identified 45,437 patients with suspected bacteremia who were blood cultured and 10,618 suspected meningitis cases who had a lumber puncture. Pneumococcus accounted for 230 culture positive cases of meningitis in children <5 years. Serotype-2 was the leading cause of pneumococcal meningitis, accounting for 20.4% (45/221; 95% CI 15%–26%) of cases. Ninety eight percent (45/46) of these serotype-2 strains were isolated from meningitis cases, yielding the highest serotype-specific odds ratio for meningitis (29.6; 95% CI 3.4–256.3). The serotype-2 strains had three closely related pulsed field gel electrophoresis types.
Conclusions
S. pneumoniae serotype-2 was found to possess an unusually high potential for causing meningitis and was the leading serotype-specific cause of childhood meningitis in Bangladesh over the past decade. Persisting disease occurrence or progressive spread would represent a major potential infection threat since serotype-2 is not included in PCVs currently licensed or under development.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0032134
PMCID: PMC3316528  PMID: 22479314
22.  Characterisation of Regulatory T Cells in Nasal Associated Lymphoid Tissue in Children: Relationships with Pneumococcal Colonization 
PLoS Pathogens  2011;7(8):e1002175.
Regulatory T cells (Treg) diminish immune responses to microbial infection, which may contribute to preventing inflammation-related local tissue damage and autoimmunity but may also contribute to chronicity of infection. Nasopharyngeal carriage of pneumococcus is common in young children and can persist for long periods but it is unknown whether the presence of Treg in the nasopharynx contributes to this persistence. We have investigated the numbers and activities of Foxp3+Treg in adenoidal tissues and their association with pneumococcal carriage in children. Expression of Treg cell-related markers including Foxp3, CD25, CD39, CD127 and CLTA4 were analysed by flow-cytometry in adenoidal mononuclear cells (MNC) and PBMC from children. Unfractionated MNC or Treg-depleted MNC were stimulated with a pneumococcal whole cell antigen (WCA) and T cell proliferation measured. Cytokine production by MNC was measured using a cytometric bead array. Higher numbers of CD25highFoxp3high Treg expressing higher CD39 and CTLA4 were found in adenoidal MNC than in PBMC. Children with pneumococcus positive nasopharyngeal cultures had higher proportions of Treg and expressed higher levels of CD39 and CTLA-4 than those who were culture negative (−). WCA induced adenoidal Treg proliferation which produce IL10 but not IL17, and CD4 T cell proliferation in Treg-depleted MNC was greater in pneumococcal culture positive than negative children. Significant numbers of Treg with an effector/memory phenotype which possess a potent inhibitory effect, exist in adenoidal tissue. The association of pneumococcal carriage with an increased frequency of adenoidal Treg suggests that Treg in nasal-associated lymphoid tissue (NALT) may contribute to the persistence of pneumococcus in children. Further studies to determine what component and mechanisms are involved in the promotion of Treg in NALT may lead to novel therapeutic or vaccination strategy against upper respiratory infection.
Author Summary
Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus) is a bacterium that causes pneumonia, meningitis and blood poisoning. Colonization with pneumococcus is common in young children, which may be why they are prone to some common infections such as otitis media (ear infection) and pneumonia. As children age, most develop natural immunity to pneumococcus due to previous colonization. This immunity helps to prevent new infection and/or clear carriage of pneumococcus. However, persistence of carriage occurs in some children. The mechanisms for this are not clear. A good understanding of this phenomenon would help us to develop better ways to prevent pnemococcal infection. We have found that the immune tissues called adenoids (at the back of nose) in children contain some immune cells called “regulatory cells” that inhibit the naturally developed immunity to pnemococcus. While the presence and action of these cells is important to prevent self-tissue damage during infection (due to excessive immune response), they contribute to the persistence of pneumococcal carriage. We show evidence that these cells may develop from the action of some component of pneumococcus. Further studies are underway to determine what component and how it promotes these cells, which may lead to better vaccines to prevent pnemococcus and other similar infections.
doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1002175
PMCID: PMC3154846  PMID: 21852948
23.  Nasopharyngeal Carriage Rate and Serotypes of Streptococcus pneumoniae and Antimicrobial Susceptibility in Healthy Korean Children Younger than 5 Years Old: Focus on Influence of Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccination 
Infection & Chemotherapy  2013;45(1):76-84.
Background
Even after pneumococcal vaccination introduction, Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumoccocus) is still an important cause of respiratory and invasive severe infection. Pneumococcus is resided in nasal mucosa and local or systemic infection begins with the nasal mucosa damage. We studied the indirect effect of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) on pneumococcal nasopharyngeal carriage rates, serotypes and antimicrobial susceptibility between vaccinate and non-vaccinated children.
Materials and Methods
From January 2010 to October 2010, 379 healthy children under 5 years old from three university hospitals were recruited. Fully vaccinated children over 3 time doses of PCV and children with no vaccination history of PCV were enrolled, and nasopharyngeal aspirations were obtained from these children. Serotypes using multibead serotyping assay with multiplex PCR and antimicrobial susceptibility was analyzed. Antimicrobial susceptibilities were determined by the CLIS guideline.
Results
Two hundred seventy six children were received pneumococcal vaccination while 103 were not. 137 pneumococci were isolated from nasopharyngeal aspiration specimens. Nasal carriage rate was significantly low in vaccinated group (P-value; 0.001). Nasopharyngeal carriage rate was 28.6% (79/276) in vaccinate group and 56.3% (58/103) in non-vaccinated group. Among those vaccinated group, 13.0% (36/276) of the serotypes were vaccine or vaccine related type with the most common type 19F. In contrast, 31.1% (32/103) of the serotypes in non vaccinated group were vaccine or vaccine related type with the most common type 6A. The resistant rate of penicillin was 90.5%. For antimicrobial susceptibility, amoxicillin and amoxicillin/clavulanate showed high susceptibility (73.0%), but 19F and 19A serotypes were all resistant against amoxicillin.
Conclusions
High nasopharyngeal carriage rate in non vaccinated group corresponded to the result of past study. However, 19F and 19A still came up as problematic serotypes with a high carriage rate and antimicrobial resistance in both vaccinated and non vaccinated groups. Also, this study showed that the resistance rate of primary oral antimicrobial agents was increased in compared to past. For solving these problems, the selective antimicrobial use with establishment of high dose amoxicillin/clavulanate regimen and active PCV immunization should be needed. Furthermore, pneumococcal carriage and serotype study concerning with antimicrobial susceptibility should be conducted in the future in 10 or 13-valent PCV received children.
doi:10.3947/ic.2013.45.1.76
PMCID: PMC3780942  PMID: 24265953
Streptococcus pneumoniae; Serotype; Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine; Oral antimicrobial; Antimicrobial resistance
24.  Effect of influenza and pneumococcal vaccines in elderly persons in years of low influenza activity 
Virology Journal  2008;5:52.
Background
The present prospective study was conducted from 2003–2005, among all individuals 65 years and older in Uppsala County, a region with 300 000 inhabitants situated close to the Stockholm urban area.
The objective of this study was to assess the preventive effect of influenza and pneumococcal vaccination in reducing hospitalisation and length of hospital stay (LOHS) even during periods of low influenza activity. The specificity of the apparent vaccine associations were evaluated in relation to the influenza seasons.
Results
In 2003, the total study population was 41,059, of which 12,907 (31%) received influenza vaccine of these, 4,447 (11%) were administered the pneumococcal vaccine. In 2004, 14,799 (34%) individuals received the influenza vaccine and 8,843 (21%) the pneumococcal vaccine and in 2005 16,926 (39%) individuals were given the influenza vaccine and 12,340 (28%) the pneumococcal vaccine.
Our findings indicated that 35% of the vaccinated cohort belonged to a medical risk category (mainly those persons that received the pneumococcal vaccine). Data on hospitalisation and mortality during the 3-year period were obtained from the administrative database of the Uppsala county council.
During the influenza seasons, reduction of hospital admissions and significantly shorter in-hospital stay for influenza was observed in the vaccinated cohort (below 80 years of age). For individuals who also had received the pneumococcal vaccine, a significant reduction of hospital admissions and of in-hospital stay was observed for invasive pneumococcal disease and for pneumococcal pneumonia. Effectiveness was observed for cardiac failure even in persons that also had received the pneumococcal vaccine, despite that the pneumococcal vaccinated mainly belonged to a medical risk category. Reduction of death from all causes was observed during the influenza season of 2004, in the 75–84-year old age group and in all age-groups during the influenza season 2005.
Conclusion
The present study confirmed the additive effect of the two vaccines in the elderly, which was associated with a reduced risk in hospitalisation and a reduction in mean LOHS in seasons with low influenza activity.
doi:10.1186/1743-422X-5-52
PMCID: PMC2390520  PMID: 18442371
25.  Global Control of Pneumococcal Infections by Pneumococcal Vaccines 
Tropical Medicine and Health  2014;42(2 Suppl):83-86.
Streptococcus pneumoniae is a major worldwide cause of morbidity and mortality. Pneumococcal carriage is considered to be an important source of horizontal spread of this pathogen within the community. Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) is capable of inducing serotype-specific antibodies in sera of infants, and has been suggested to reduce nasopharyngeal carriage of vaccine-type pneumococci in children. PCV is generally immunogenic for pediatric patients with invasive pneumococcal disease, with an exception for the infecting serotypes. Based on evidences from the clinical trials of PCV, the health impact of childhood pneumococcal pneumonia appears to be high in developing countries where most of global childhood pneumonia deaths occur. PCV vaccination may prevent hundreds of deaths per 100,000 children vaccinated in developing countries, while PCV vaccination is expected to prevent less than 10 deaths per 100,000 children vaccinated in the developed countries. Therefore, the WHO has proposed a strategy to reduce the incidence of severe pneumonia by 75% in child less than 5 years of age compared to 2010 levels by 2025.
doi:10.2149/tmh.2014-S11
PMCID: PMC4204060  PMID: 25425955
Streptococcus pneumoniae; Bacterial colonization; Invasive pneumococcal disease; Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine; Serotype-specific IgG; Opsonization index; Childhood pneumonia; WHO

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