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Open Access Highly Accessed Debate

Prevention of pneumococcal diseases in the post-seven valent vaccine era: A European perspective

Catherine Weil-Olivier1*, Mark van der Linden2, Iris de Schutter3, Ron Dagan4 and Lorenzo Mantovani5

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Pediatrics, University Denis Diderot, Paris, France

2 Department of Medical Microbiology, National Reference Center for Streptococci, University Hospital RWTH Aachen, Aachen, Germany

3 Department. of Pediatric Pneumology, Cystic Fibrosis Clinic and Pediatric Infectious Diseases, Universitair Ziekenhuis Brussel (UZ Brussel), Brussels, Belgium

4 Pediatric Infectious Disease Unit, Soroka University Medical Center and Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben-Gurion University, Beer-Sheva, Israel

5 CIRFF/Center of Pharmacoeconomics, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Naples, Naples, Italy

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BMC Infectious Diseases 2012, 12:207  doi:10.1186/1471-2334-12-207

Published: 7 September 2012

Abstract

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.

Keywords:
Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine; Invasive pneumococcal disease; Community-acquired pneumonia; Acute otitis media; Vaccine serotype coverage; Epidemiology-incidence