Significant reduction in antibiotic-resistant pneumococcal disease since the introduction of PREVNAR

Madison, N.J., Antibiotic resistance is a worldwide public health issue. Physicians around the world face an increasing clinical challenge as many life-threatening bacterial infections, once responsive to therapy, are building resistance to the most commonly prescribed antibiotic treatments. However, preventing the occurrence of disease through vaccination may help alleviate the challenges of antibiotic resistance.

A study published in today's New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) "Effect of Introduction of the Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine on Drug-Resistant Streptococcus pneumoniae" has found that, since the introduction of PREVNAR, Pneumococcal 7-valent Conjugate Vaccine (Diphtheria CRM197 Protein), in the United States, the rate of antibiotic-resistant invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) has substantially decreased in infants and young children. In addition, the rate of antibiotic-resistant IPD decreased in adults over 65 years of age, an unvaccinated group, suggesting an indirect effect in the non-vaccinated population.

The study analyzed population-based data from the Active Bacterial Core Surveillance, part of the Emerging Infections Program of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and found that since the introduction of PREVNAR, IPD caused by penicillin-resistant strains targeted by the vaccine has been reduced by:

  • 87 percent among the full study population (persons of any age);
  • 98 percent among children younger than two years of age;
  • 79 percent among adults aged 65 years or older.

The study documented significant overall reductions in antibiotic-resistant IPD, irrespective of pneumococcal serotype, although the rate of penicillin non-susceptible disease due to non-vaccine serotypes increased from 0.2 per 100,000 in 1999 to 0.5 per 100,000 in 2004. Wyeth Pharmaceuticals is developing a 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine which targets additional pneumococcal

Contact: Natalie de Vane, Wyeth
Porter Novelli

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