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Vaccine. 2012 Aug 10;30(37):5449-52. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2012.06.048. Epub 2012 Jun 27.

Effectiveness and immunogenicity of pneumococcal vaccination in splenectomized and functionally asplenic patients.

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Department of Internal Medicine I, Division of Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine, Medical University of Vienna, Waehringer Gürtel 18-20, 1090 Vienna, Austria.


The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effectiveness and immunogenicity of pneumococcal vaccination in 145 splenectomized and 2 functionally asplenic patients receiving the 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine and/or the 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7) during the period 1996-2009. Progression of underlying malignant disease was the main cause of death in 68% of the 53 deceased patients, followed by septic shock in 13.2%. Twelve of 94 living patients developed post-vaccine complications: pneumonia in 9 patients, otitis media in 2, pneumococcal sepsis in 4. Compared with a non-splenectomized non-vaccinated control group (n=34), splenectomized patients vaccinated in the previous five years (n=15) had significantly higher GMCs (P<0.05) against serotypes 4, 6B, 9V, 14, 18C, 19F and 23F. Our data demonstrated strong serological responses in splenectomized patients within the first 5 years after pneumococcal vaccination by PCV7. Nevertheless, post-vaccine pneumococcal sepsis was still diagnosed in 3.3% of splenectomized survivors.

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