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Expert Rev Vaccines. 2012 Jul;11(7):841-55.

The fundamental link between pneumococcal carriage and disease.

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Department of Vaccination and Immune Protection, National Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland.


Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus) is a major cause of worldwide mortality and morbidity, and to a large extent is vaccine-preventable. Nasopharyngeal carriage of pneumococcus precedes disease and is the source of pneumococcal spread between people. The use of vaccine effect on carriage as part of the vaccine licensure and post-vaccine introduction evaluation could facilitate and expand the licensure of new, life-saving pneumococcal vaccines and enable a comprehensive estimate of population effects after vaccine introduction. The authors provide a review of the evidence supporting pneumococcal carriage at the individual level as an immediate and necessary precursor to pneumococcal disease. Based on such a causal link between carriage and disease, the authors emphasize the role of information on pneumococcal carriage in vaccine trials and in public health decision-making.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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