SAN DIEGO — The introduction of pneumococcal conjugate and rotavirus vaccines to a pediatric hospital population in Israel significantly reduced the burden of infection within less than 5 years, according to data presented at ICAAC 2015.
“Pneumococcal infections are among the most common causes for hospital visit and hospitalization in young children younger than 2 years – mainly in the late fall, winter and early spring,” study researcher Ron Dagan, MD, of the pediatric infectious disease unit at Soroka University Medical Center, Israel, told Infectious Diseases in Children. “Rotaviruses are the main cause of hospitalization and hospital ER visits for acute diarrhea and dehydration in children younger than 2 years, again in the fall and winter. Thus, in developed countries, the combination of respiratory infections and diarrheal infections create an almost unsupportable burden on the hospital pediatric services during fall and winter. A very important part is caused directly or indirectly by these two pathogens.”
Using data based on their hospital’s 30,000 pediatric patients aged younger than 2 years who visit annually, the researchers examined cases of winter diarrhea and respiratory infections after the introduction of RotaTeq (RV5, Merck; RVV), Prevnar (PCV7, Pfizer) and Prevnar 13 (PCV13, Pfizer) in Israel between 2009 and 2011. The incidence rates for diarrhea and respiratory infections caused by rotavirus and pneumonia were analyzed between 2006 and 2014.
After the implementation of the three vaccines, hospitalization rates for rotavirus gastroenteritis fell by 86%, while hospitalization rates for alveolar pneumonia were reduced by 44%. The incidence rate for lower respiratory tract infection also declined within 4 years of PCV introduction by 28%.
“Obviously co-introduction of these two vaccines resulted in a rapid considerable reduction in hospital burden in children younger than 2 years,” Dagan said. “Since both diseases are seasonal, this reduction can particularly be helpful in relieving the burden during the most cumbersome seasons.” – by David Costill
Reference: Dagan R, et al. Poster I-292. Presented at: Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy; Sept. 17-21, 2015; San Diego.
Disclosure: The study was funded in part by Merck and Pfizer. Dagan reports serving as a consultant and scientific advisor for Genocea, MeMed, Merck and Pfizer and on the speakers bureau for GlaxoSmithKline.