Data on the immunogenicity and memory induction of pneumococcal conjugate vaccines in very preterm infants is limited. We vaccinated 69 full term and 68 preterm infants (median gestational age (GA) 30 weeks) with a 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7) at 2/3/4 months of age, followed by a plain polysaccharide booster at 12 months of age. IgG-GMC (ELISA) was significantly lower in preterm infants to six vaccine serotypes (ST) at 2 months and 5 months of age, to five ST at 12 months of age and to three ST at 13 months of age. A significantly lower proportion of preterm infants achieved IgG levels ≥0.35 μg/ml to ST 4, 6B and 9V at 5 months and to ST 4, 6B, 18C, 19F and 23F at 12 months of age. Fold rises following the polysaccharide booster were comparable to those of term infants. At least 93% of both cohorts achieved IgG ≥0.35 μg/ml to all STs following booster vaccination. Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine at an accelerated schedule of 2/3/4 months of age is likely to provide protection against pneumococcal disease for preterm infants. Antibody concentrations wane over the first year of life in both preterm and term infants and booster vaccination is therefore likely to be important.
- Immunological memory
- Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine