Understanding of serotype replacement is important as higher-valency vaccines are introduced.
Streptococcus pneumoniae remains a leading cause of morbidity and mortality. Pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (PCVs) are effective but target only a fraction of the more than 90 pneumococcal serotypes. As a result, the introduction of PCVs has been followed by the emergence of non-vaccine serotypes. With higher-valency PCVs currently under development, there is a need to understand and predict patterns of serotype replacement to anticipate future changes.
In this study, we fit a hierarchical Bayesian regression model to evaluate patterns of change in serotype prevalence post-PCV introduction in Israel from 2009 to 2016.
We found that the assumption that non-vaccine serotypes increase by the same proportion overestimates changes in serotype prevalence in Jewish and Bedouin children. Furthermore, pre-vaccine prevalence was positively associated with increases in prevalence over the study period. From our analyses, serotypes 12F, 8, 16F, 33F, 9N, 7B, 10A, 22F, 24F, and 17F were estimated to have gained the most cases of invasive pneumococcal disease through serotype replacement in the Jewish population. However, this model also failed to quantify some additional cases gained, suggesting that changes in carriage in children alone may be insufficient to explain serotype replacement in disease.