Background. To have wide global coverage of pneumococcal serotypes, the number of serotypes covered by the current 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine must be increased. We have studied the safety and immunogenicity of an 11-valent mixed carrier vaccine (PncDT11) in infants.
Methods. The study vaccine contained polysaccharide antigens of serotypes 1, 4, 5, 7F, 9V, 19F and 23F conjugated to tetanus protein and serotypes 3, 6B, 14 and 18C conjugated to diphtheria toxoid. The vaccine was administered to Finnish (n = 117) and Israeli (n = 135) infants at ages 2, 4, 6 and 12 months concomitantly with other vaccines used in national vaccination programs. IgG antibodies to polysaccharides were determined by enzyme immunoassay from serum samples taken at ages 2, 7, 12 and 13 months. After each injection the infants were followed for 30 min to detect any immediate adverse reactions, and parents were given a diary card to report any adverse events during the next 5 days.
Results. No severe adverse reactions occurred, and immediate adverse reactions were rare. After each dose ∼30% of the vaccinees experienced local reactions of which pain was the most common. Fever of >38°C was reported in 33 to 53% of the vaccinees and high fever (>40°C) was reported 6 times. The PncDT11 vaccine was immunogenic. The antibody concentrations after primary immunization series were higher in Israeli than in Finnish infants, but the differences were not significant for most serotypes. The difference was most marked at 13 months, a time point at which the difference was significant in 10 of 11 serotypes.
Conclusion. PncDT11 is safe and immunogenic in infants. The use of 11-valent pneumococcal vaccine would increase the serotype coverage beyond the currently available 7-valent vaccine.