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Pneumococcal conjugate vaccines can improve the lives of HIV-infected children
Date:11/28/2007

An international team of experts has published the first comprehensive review of evidence on pneumococcal conjugate vaccination (PCV) for children with HIV infection. Now available in the on-line edition of the journal Lancet Infectious Diseases, the review shows that HIV increases the risk of pneumococcal infection by up to 40 fold, that the disease is usually due to serotypes in the PCV, and that the vaccine can protect HIV-infected infants. The authors conclude that PCV can improve the lives of HIV-infected children and should be considered a potentially valuable complement to existing treatment strategies for HIV-infected children (1).

In the run up to World AIDS Day (1st December 2007), the study authors are calling for action to make pneumococcal vaccines available for all children in resource-poor countries, especially those with a high burden of HIV infection.

Streptococcus pneumoniae, a bacterium that is a major cause of pneumonia, meningitis and blood stream infections, kills over 800,000 and up to one million children every year (2). Tragically children with HIV are at a vastly increased risk of getting pneumoccocal disease, due to their weakened immune system (3) (4).

The expert review, authored by seven leading experts in pneumococcal disease and HIV medicine, based in the US and Africa, summarises available data on the burden of pneumococcal disease and the safety and efficacy of pneumococcal vaccination in HIV infected children. The review found: (1)

  • HIV increased the risk of pneumococcal disease in HIV infected as compared with uninfected children (studies found it to be as high as 43-fold)
  • The serotypes, or strains, of the bacteria included in the currently licensed, and near-licensed vaccines, include the majority of the serotypes that cause invasive pneumococcal disease in HIV-infected children and adults
  • Pneumococcal conjugate v
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Contact: Caroline Tatum
ctatum@ruderfinn.co.uk
44-020-746-28957
GAVI's PneumoADIP
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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