Impfungen zum Schutz vor Atemwegsinfektionen bei Risikogruppen
OBJECTIVE Respiratory infections are major triggers of exacerbations in preschool asthma. Many countries' guidelines recommend immunization against pneumococci for patients suffering from chronic airway disease. Beyond infancy, however, data on the immunogenicity and safety are scarce. Also, the interval between priming and booster is a matter of debate. PATIENTS AND METHODS Seventy preschool asthmatics (2-5-year-old; mild to moderate asthma) underwent sequential immunization: one dose of seven-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV-7) followed by a single dose of 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPV-23). We randomly assigned half of the vaccinees to receive PPV-23 eight weeks after PCV-7 (group A), and the rest to a 10-month interval (group B). Pneumococcal antibody concentrations to serotype 4, 5, 6B, 7, 9V, 14, 18c, 19F and 23F were determined initially, after two and 12 months after PCV-7. Local and systemic reactions to each vaccine were recorded. RESULTS Initially, depending on the serotype, up to 79.4% (group A) or 80.4% (group B) individuals did not reach the protective antibody threshold of 0.35 microg/ml. Sequential pneumococcal immunization was immunogenic in preschool asthmatics, inducing protection in the majority of our children. Subjects boostered after eight weeks had significantly lower antibody levels than those boostered after 10 months. Local and systemic adverse events were mild in character and self-limiting. CONCLUSIONS Although both sequential pneumococcal vaccine regimens were safe and immunogenic among preschool asthmatics, immunogenicity was higher when the booster was given after 10 months.