Rapid replacement by non-vaccine pneumococcal serotypes may mitigate the impact of the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine on nasopharyngeal bacterial ecology.

Document Type


Publication Date


JAX Source

Sci Rep 2017 Aug 15; 7(1):8127.






There is growing concern that interventions that alter microbial ecology can adversely affect health. We characterised the impact of the seven-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7) on pneumococcal carriage and the bacterial component of the nasopharyngeal microbiome during infancy. Newborns were recruited into three groups as follows: Group1 (n = 33) was the control group and comprised infants who received PCV7 after 6 months and came from unvaccinated communities. Group 2 (n = 30) came from unvaccinated communities and Group 3 (n = 39) came from vaccinated communities. Both group 2 and 3 received PCV7 at 2, 3 and 4 months. Culture and 16 S rRNA gene sequencing were performed on nasopharyngeal specimens collected at regular intervals from infants. Nasopharyngeal carriage of PCV7 serotypes in Group 1 was significantly higher than in Group 2 and 3 (p < 0.01). However, pneumococcal carriage remained comparable due to an expansion of non-vaccine serotypes in Groups 2 and 3. Determination of phylogenetic dis(similarities) showed that the bacterial community structures were comparable across groups. A mixed effects model showed no difference in community richness (p = 0.15) and Shannon α-diversity (p = 0.48) across the groups. Immediate replacement of pneumococcal vaccine serotypes with non-vaccine serotypes may mitigate the impact of PCV7 on nasopharyngeal bacterial community structure and ecology. Sci Rep 2017 Aug 15; 7(1):8127.