Pneumococcal nasopharyngeal carriage in children <5 years of age visiting the pediatric emergency room in relation to PCV7 and PCV13 introduction in southern Israel Academic Article uri icon


  • The 7-valent and the 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (PCV7 and PCV13, respectively) were introduced to the Israeli National Immunization plan in July 2009 and November 2010, respectively. Our aim was to assess pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (PCVs) uptake and dynamics in serotype-specific pneumococcal nasopharyngeal (NP) carriage in children <5 years old in southern Israel, during the immediate 5 y following PCV introduction. This was an ongoing, prospective, population-based, active surveillance, from July 2009 through December 2014. PCVs uptake and NP cultures were obtained daily from children seen at the Pediatric Emergency Room for any reason. Overall, 10,702 vaccine status and 7,610 NP swabs were obtained. Both PCV7 and PCV13 uptake were high, reaching ˜90% by July 2012 and December 2013, respectively. All-pneumococcal carriage rates significantly declined by 10%, from 54.3% in the early-PCV7 period, to 49.1% in the PCV13 impact period. The respective declines for PCV7, 6A and additional PCV13 serotypes carriage rates were 76%, 90% and 66%. In contrast, non-PCV13 serotypes carriage rates increased significantly throughout the study by 71%. All-pneumococcal carriage rates in children <12 months old decreased significantly by 15%, with similar trends observed in other age groups. Initially, all-pneumococcal carriage rates were 45.7%, and 61.9% in Jewish and Bedouin children, respectively (P < 0.001), with a significant 17% reduction throughout the study observed only in Bedouins. While early carriage rates were higher in unvaccinated children compared to vaccinated children, PCV impact on carriage were similar in both groups. In conclusion, a relatively moderate decline in pneumococcal carriage rates, facilitated by a substantial decrease of vaccine-serotypes and increase of non-vaccine serotypes was observed in the immediate period following PCVs introduction in southern Israel.

publication date

  • February 1, 2016