Vaccine strategies to reduce the burden of pneumococcal disease in HIV-infected adults in Africa

Thindwa D, Pinsent A, Ojal J, Gallagher KE, French N, Flasche S
Expert Rev Vaccines. 2020;19

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INTRODUCTION: Streptococcus pneumoniae is the leading cause of invasive bacterial disease, globally. Despite antiretroviral therapy, adults infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) are also at high risk of pneumococcal carriage and disease. Pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (PCVs) provide effective protection against vaccine serotype (VT) carriage and disease in children, and have been introduced worldwide, including most HIV-affected low- and middle-income countries. Unlike high-income countries, the circulation of VT persists in the PCV era in some low-income countries and results in a continued high burden of pneumococcal disease in HIV-infected adults. Moreover, no routine vaccination that directly protects HIV-infected adults in such settings has been implemented. AREAS COVERED: Nonsystematic review on the pneumococcal burden in HIV-infected adults and vaccine strategies to reduce this burden. EXPERT OPINION: We propose and discuss the relative merit of changing the infant PCV program to use (1a) a two prime plus booster dose schedule, (1b) a two prime plus booster dose schedule with an additional booster dose at school entry, to directly vaccinate (2a) HIV-infected adults or vaccinating (2b) HIV-infected pregnant women for direct protection, with added indirect protection to the high-risk neonates. We identify key knowledge gaps for such an evaluation and propose strategies to overcome them.