PCV7- and PCV10-Vaccinated Otitis-Prone Children in New Zealand Have Similar Pneumococcal and Haemophilus influenzae Densities in Their Nasopharynx and Middle Ear

Camilla de Gier, Caitlyn M. Granland, Janessa L. Pickering, Tony Walls, Mejbah Bhuiyan, Nikki Mills, Peter C. Richmond, Emma J. Best, Ruth B. Thornton, Lea-Ann S. Kirkham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)


Otitis media (OM) is a major reason for antibiotic consumption and surgery in children. Nasopharyngeal carriage of otopathogens, Streptococcus pneumoniae and nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi), is a prerequisite for development of OM, and increased nasopharyngeal otopathogen density correlates with disease onset. Vaccines can reduce or eliminate otopathogen carriage, as demonstrated for pneumococcal serotypes included in pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (PCV). The 10-valent PCV (PCV10) includes an NTHi carrier protein, and in 2011 superseded 7-valent PCV on the New Zealand Immunisation Program. Data are conflicting on whether PCV10 provides protection against NTHi carriage or disease. Assessing this in otitis-prone cohorts is important for OM prevention. We compared otopathogen density in the nasopharynx and middle ear of New Zealand PCV7-vaccinated and PCV10-vaccinated otitis-prone and non-otitis-prone children to determine PCV10 impact on NTHi and S. pneumoniae carriage. We applied qPCR to specimens collected from 217 PCV7-vaccinated children (147 otitis-prone and 70 non-otitis-prone) and 240 PCV10-vaccinated children (178 otitis-prone and 62 non-otitis-prone). After correcting for age and day-care attendance, no difference was observed between NTHi density in the nasopharynx of PCV7-vaccinated versus PCV10-vaccinated otitis-prone (p = 0.563) or non-otitis-prone (p = 0.513) children. In contrast, pneumococcal nasopharyngeal density was higher in PCV10-vaccinated otitis-prone children than PCV7-vaccinated otitis-prone children (p = 0.003). There was no difference in otopathogen density in middle ear effusion from PCV7-vaccinated versus PCV10-vaccinated otitis-prone children (NTHi p = 0.918; S. pneumoniae p = 0.415). When pneumococcal carriage was assessed by vaccine serotypes (VT) and non-vaccine serotypes (NVT), there was no difference in VT density (p = 0.546) or NVT density (p = 0.315) between all PCV7-vaccinated versus all PCV10-vaccinated children. In summary, PCV10 did not reduce NTHi density in the nasopharynx or middle ear, and was associated with increased pneumococcal nasopharyngeal density in otitis-prone children in New Zealand. Development of therapies that prevent or reduce otopathogen colonisation density in the nasopharynx are warranted to reduce the burden of OM.

Original languageEnglish
Article number14
Number of pages14
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jan 2019

Cite this