Hum Vaccin Immunother. 2015 Sep 14:0. [Epub ahead of print]

Streptococcus pneumoniae pharyngeal colonization in school-age children and adolescents with cancer.

Principi N1, Preti V1, Gaspari S2, Colombini A3, Zecca M4, Terranova L1, Cefalo MG2, Ierardi V1, Pelucchi C5, Esposito S1;Italian Pneumococcal Study Group on Cancer.

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Patients with cancer, particularly those with hematologic malignancies, are at an increased risk of invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) and they are included in the list of subjects for whom pneumococcal vaccination is recommended. The main aim of this study was to evaluate Streptococcus pneumoniae colonization in school-aged children and adolescents with cancer to determine the potential protective efficacy of 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13). An oropharyngeal swab was obtained from 277 patients (age range 6-17 years) with cancer during routine clinical visits and analyzed for S. pneumoniae using real-time polymerase chain reaction. S. pneumoniae was identified in 52 patients (18.8%), including 47/235 (20,0%) with hematologic malignancies and 5/42 (11.9%) with solid tumors. Colonization declined significantly with an increase in age (odds ratio [OR] 0.34, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.16-0.71, and OR 0.30, 95% CI 0.11-0.82 in children aged 10-14 and ≥15 years, respectively, as compared to those <10 years). Carriage was more common among patients with leukemia or lymphoma than in children with solid tumors. Co-trimoxazole prophylaxis was significantly associated with reduced pneumococcal carriage (OR 0.41, 95% CI 0.19-0.89). A total of 15/58 (25.9%) and 26/216 (12.0%) children were colonized by PCV13 serotypes among cancer patients previously vaccinated and not vaccinated with 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7), respectively. In conclusion, this study indicates that children and adolescents with cancer are frequently colonized by S. pneumoniae. Because most of the carried serotypes are included in PCV13, this vaccine is presently the best solution to reduce the risk of IPD in these patients.


Cancer; Streptococcus pneumoniae; children; pediatrics; pneumococcal conjugate vaccine; pneumococcal infection; pneumococcal vaccine; tumor

PMID: 26367101

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