Korean J Pediatr.  2006 Mar;49(3):235-241. 10.3345/kjp.2006.49.3.235.

Efficacy and effectiveness of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine in children

  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. hoanlee@snu.ac.kr


Streptococus pneumoniae is an important cause of invasive infections as well as non-invasive infections such as acute otitis media and sinusitis both in children and adults. Resistance of S. pneumoniae to multiple antimicrobials is increasing and poses therapeutic challenges, and prevention became more important. 23-valent polysaccharide vaccine has been used for the last several decades, but is not effective in children <2 years of age, the highest risk group of invasive diseases. Recently, a 7-valent pneumococcal protein conjugate vaccine(PCV) which is effective in infants and young children has been developed. The efficacy of PCVs against invasive pneumococcal disease and pneumonia is well established and is documented in several well-conducted studies. However, the effect of PCVs on otitis media is less obvious and more complex. PCVs clearly reduce diseases caused by vaccine-type(VT) pneumococci, but replacement of VT serotypes by non-VT serotypes in nasopharyngeal carriage of S. pneumoniae is responsible for the increase in acute otitis media caused by non-VT serotypes. Three years after introduction of PCV in the US, some increase of invasive infections with serotype 19A possibly due to serotype switching within certain vaccine type strains has been noted. Since most antibiotic-resistance in S. pneumoniae is confined to VT serotypes, vaccine use also reduces antibiotic resistance. With development of PCV, there was a great advance in the prevention of pneumococcal diseases, but replacement with potential virulent organisms and development of antibiotic resistance in non-VT pneumococci is a possibility that needs careful monitoring.


Streptococcus pneumnoniae; Vaccine; Pneumococcal vaccine

MeSH Terms

Drug Resistance, Microbial
Otitis Media
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