Infants vaccinated with the 10- or 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine at 2, 3, 4, and 11 months had similar serotype-specific immunoglobulin G levels and plasma cell frequencies against 4 shared serotypes around these boosters, but higher memory B-cell frequencies in the PCV13 group.
Background. Both the 10- and 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (PCV10 and PCV13) induce immunological memory against Streptococcus pneumoniae infections caused by vaccine serotypes. In addition to comparing serum antibody levels, we investigated frequencies of serotype-specific plasma cells (PCs) and memory B-cells (Bmems) as potential predictors of long-term immunity around the booster vaccination at 11 months of age.
Methods. Infants were immunized with PCV10 or PCV13 at 2, 3, 4, and 11 months of age. Blood was collected before the 11-month booster or 7–9 days afterward. Serotype-specific immunoglobulin G (IgG) levels were determined in serum samples by multiplex immunoassay. Circulating specific PCs and Bmems against shared serotypes 1, 6B, 7F, and 19F and against PCV13 serotypes 6A and 19A were measured in peripheral blood mononuclear cells by enzyme-linked immunospot assay.
Results. No major differences in IgG levels and PC frequencies between groups were found for the 4 shared serotypes. Notably, PCV13 vaccination resulted in higher frequencies of Bmems than PCV10 vaccination, both before and after the booster dose, for all 4 shared serotypes except for serotype 1 postbooster. For PCV13-specific serotypes 6A and 19A, the IgG levels and frequencies of PCs and Bmems were higher in the PCV13 group, pre- and postbooster, except for PC frequencies prebooster.
Conclusions. Both PCVs are immunogenic and induce measurable IgG, PC, and Bmem booster responses at 11 months. Compared to PCV10, vaccination with PCV13 was associated with overall similar IgG levels and PC frequencies but with higher Bmem frequencies before and after the 11-month booster. The clinical implications of these results need further follow-up.
Clinical Trials Registration. NTR3069.