Pneumococcal vaccine does not appear to protect against pneumonia

Jan 05, 2009

Commonly used pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccines do not appear to be effective for preventing pneumonia, found a study by a team of researchers from Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

In many industrialized countries, polysaccharide pneumococcal vaccines (PPVs) are currently recommended to help prevent pneumococcal disease in people aged 65 and over and for younger people with increased risk due to conditions like HIV. Studies have shown conflicting results regarding the efficacy of PPV.

The study, a systematic review and meta-analysis, looked at 22 clinical trials, reviews and meta-analyses and more than 100,000 participants from countries in North America as well as India, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean. Unlike other similar studies the authors examined the reasons why different clinical trials produced different results. They found that the quality of the studies substantially affected the results. When only high quality trials were included, there was no evidence that PPVs could prevent pneumonia. The study adds to the ongoing debate around effectiveness of the vaccine.

"Policy makers may therefore wish to reconsider their current recommendations for PPV, especially where routine pneumococcal conjugate immunization has been introduced," conclude Dr. Matthias Egger from the University of Bern, Switzerland and coauthors.

However, in a related commentary www.cmaj.ca/press/pg18.pdf>, Dr. Ross Andrews and coauthor from the Menzies School of Health Research, Darwin, Australia state that the researchers' conclusions exceed the evidence presented. They caution that there should be no change in vaccine policy in countries that recommend PPV to prevent invasive pneumococcal disease.

Paper: www.cmaj.ca/press/pg48.pdf>

Source: Canadian Medical Association Journal

Explore further: Oral hepatitis B vaccine could become a reality

Related Stories

Nano packages for anti-cancer drug delivery

Mar 18, 2015

Cancer stem cells are resistant to chemotherapy and consequently tend to remain in the body even after a course of treatment has finished, where they can often trigger cancer recurrence or metastasis. A new ...

The challenges of digital forensics

Mar 17, 2015

Forensics is changing in the digital age, and the legal system is still catching up when it comes to properly employing digital evidence.

How rocket science may improve kidney dialysis

Mar 17, 2015

A team of researchers in the United Kingdom has found a way to redesign an artificial connection between an artery and vein, known as an Arterio-Venous Fistulae, which surgeons form in the arms of people ...

Potential new breathalyzer for lung cancer screening

Feb 18, 2015

Researchers from Chongqing University in China have developed a high sensitive fluorescence-based sensor device that can rapidly identify cancer related volatile organic compounds—biomarkers found exclusively in the exhaled ...

Recommended for you

Oral hepatitis B vaccine could become a reality

4 minutes ago

In a new study, researchers report progress toward perfecting a radical new method of producing vaccines using genetically modified corn. The approach could lead to an oral hepatitis B vaccine that requires no refrigeration ...

US aims to cut antibiotic use

Mar 27, 2015

US President Barack Obama on Friday rolled out plans to cut inappropriate antibiotic use by half, in an effort to tackle drug resistance.

Questions over value of new antibiotics to tackle resistance

Mar 26, 2015

In the first installment of a new series, Peter Doshi, Assistant Professor at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy and Associate Editor at The BMJ, asks why authorities are approving drugs with little evidence they d ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.