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J Nutr. 2011 Oct;141(10):1907-11. doi: 10.3945/jn.111.141622. Epub 2011 Aug 10.

Newborn vitamin A supplementation does not affect nasopharyngeal carriage of Streptococcus pneumoniae in Bangladeshi infants at age 3 months.

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Department of International Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD, USA.


Nasopharyngeal (NP) carriage of S. pneumoniae (Spn) is a risk factor for pneumococcal disease and its transmission. We assessed the impact of vitamin A (VA) supplementation shortly after birth in reducing Spn colonization in early infancy in rural Bangladesh. We recruited 500 infants participating in a cluster-randomized trial that reported a 15% reduction in mortality following receipt of an oral dose of VA (52.25 ╬╝mol) compared to placebo. NP specimens were collected at the age of 3 mo to study the effect of VA on the prevalence of culture-confirmed Spn. Analyses were conducted by intention to treat. Spn carriage prevalence did not differ between VA and placebo recipients [OR = 0.83 (95% CI: 0.55-1.27); P = 0.390]. Spn carriage at the age of 3 mo was not lowered by VA given at birth. Results are similar to those from an Indian study in which impact on Spn carriage was assessed at the age of 4 mo [OR = 0.73 (95% CI: 0.48-1.10); P = 0.128]. The point estimate of the pooled effect size for the 2 studies is OR = 0.78 [(95% CI: 0.58-1.04); P = 0.095], which may imply a modest impact on carriage. If so, then the evidence thus far would suggest that Spn carriage reduction is unlikely to be a primary ancillary benefit of newborn VA supplementation.


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