The impact of introduction of the 10-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine on pneumococcal carriage in Nigeria

Adamu AL, Ojal J, Abubakar IA, Odeyemi KA, Bello MM, Okoromah CAN, Karia B, Karani A, Akech D, Inem V, Scott JAG, Adetifa IMO
Nat Commun. 2023;14

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Pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (PCVs) protect against invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) among vaccinees. However, at population level, this protection is driven by indirect effects. PCVs prevent nasopharyngeal acquisition of vaccine-serotype (VT) pneumococci, reducing onward transmission. Each disease episode is preceded by infection from a carrier, so vaccine impacts on carriage provide a minimum estimate of disease reduction in settings lacking expensive IPD surveillance. We documented carriage prevalence and vaccine coverage in two settings in Nigeria annually (2016-2020) following PCV10 introduction in 2016. Among 4,684 rural participants, VT carriage prevalence fell from 21 to 12% as childhood (<5 years) vaccine coverage rose from 7 to 84%. Among 2,135 urban participants, VT carriage prevalence fell from 16 to 9% as uptake rose from 15 to 94%. Within these ranges, carriage prevalence declined with uptake. Increasing PCV10 coverage reduced pneumococcal infection at all ages, implying at least a comparable reduction in IPD.