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J Infect. 2014 Oct;69(4):309-25. doi: 10.1016/j.jinf.2014.06.006. Epub 2014 Jun 23.

Review: current and new generation pneumococcal vaccines.

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Division of Pulmonology, Department of Internal Medicine, Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital, Johannesburg, South Africa; Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa. Electronic address:
Department of Immunology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa. Electronic address:


Pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccines (PPVs) and conjugate vaccines (PCVs), of which PPV23 and PCV13 are the current front runners, have had a significant, beneficial impact on public health. With regard to PPV23, there has been some debate, however, about its protective efficacy against all-cause pneumonia, as opposed to invasive pneumococcal disease, in high-risk cases. PCVs, on the other hand, have been included in many national immunisation programmes for prevention of severe pneumococcal disease in infants and young children, as well as for adults in various high-risk categories. Although innovative and effective, the protective efficacy of PCVs, the composition of which is based on the geographic prevalence and virulence of pneumococcal serotypes, is limited due to colonisation of the nasopharynx with non-vaccine serotypes. This phenomenon of serotype replacement has provided the impetus for development of new generation recombinant protein and whole cell pneumococcal vaccines with the potential to provide serotype-independent protection. In addition to an overview of the successes and limitations of PPVs and PCVs, this review is focused on emerging and pipeline protein-based and whole cell vaccines, preceded by a consideration of conserved pneumococcal virulence factors which are potential vaccine candidates.


Pneumococcal choline binding protein A; Pneumococcal conjugate vaccines; Pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccines; Pneumococcal surface protein A; Pneumococcal surface protein C; Pneumolysin; Polyhistidine triad proteins; Recombinant protein vaccines; Streptococcus pneumoniae; Whole cell vaccines

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