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Clin Vaccine Immunol. 2010 Nov;17(11):1810-6. doi: 10.1128/CVI.00214-10. Epub 2010 Sep 22.

Responses to a conjugate pneumococcal vaccine in preterm infants immunized at 2, 3, and 4 months of age.

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Newcastle Neonatal Service, Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom.


Preterm infants are at an increased risk of invasive pneumococcal disease infection and, additionally, have a diminished response to Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) conjugate vaccines. There are little data examining the response of preterm infants to a seven-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7). We examined the responses of preterm infants immunized at 2, 3, and 4 months of age to PCV7. A total of 133 preterm and 54 term infants were immunized with PCV7 and the Neisseria meningitidis group C (MCC), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, and Hib vaccines. Pneumococcal serotype-specific IgG was measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) pre- and postimmunization and at 12 months or following a booster of PCV7. Term and preterm responses were compared using linear and logistic regression analyses. Term infants had higher preimmunization geometric mean concentrations (GMCs) for all serotypes. Preterm infants had lower postimmunization GMCs for serotype 23F. Gestational age affected postimmunization GMCs for serotypes 4, 6B, and 23F. Preterm infants were as likely to have levels of ≥0.35 μg/ml as term infants for all serotypes except 23F. The proportions of infants with titers of ≥0.35 μg/ml for all 7 serotypes were comparable between groups. A total of 28 of 29 term infants who received a booster had levels of ≥0.35 μg/ml for all serotypes. One infant had undetectable levels for serotype 6B. Of the 32 preterm infants boosted, 9 had levels of <0.35 μg/ml for 1 serotype, and 1 had levels of <0.35 μg/ml for 2 serotypes. In nonboosted infants, GMCs for all serotypes except 6B had fallen by 12 months of age. These results support the need for a booster dose in the second year of life.

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