Interim results of an ecological experiment - Conjugate vaccination against the pneumococcus and serotype replacement.


Streptococcus pneumoniae has more than 95 serotypes, each of which presumably can cause sepsis, meningitis, pneumonia, and acute otitis media. Pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (PCV) targeted against a limited number of serotypes have nonetheless revealed an impressive impact on each manifestation of pneumococcal disease. At the same time, growing evidence of significant non-vaccine type (NVT) replacement disease following implementation of infant PCV programs has raised questions about the long-term viability of PCV immunization strategies and how to optimize PCV formulations. We discuss here theoretical and practical considerations regarding serotype replacement, and provide a snapshot of the most important NVT types seen to date after implementation of the 2 higher-valent PCVs.

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