BACKGROUND: High pneumococcal carriage density has been associated with severe pneumonia in some settings. The impact of pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (PCVs) on pneumococcal carriage density has been variable. The aim of this systematic literature review is to describe the effect of PCV7, PCV10 and PCV13 on pneumococcal colonisation density in children under five years old., METHODS: We included peer reviewed English literature published between 2000 and 2021 to identify relevant articles using Embase, Medline and PubMed. Original research articles of any study design in countries where PCV has been introduced/studied were included. Quality (risk) assessment was performed using tools developed by the National Heart Brain and Lung Institute for inclusion in this review. We used a narrative synthesis to present results., RESULTS: Ten studies were included from 1941 articles reviewed. There were two randomised controlled trials, two cluster randomised trials, one case control study, one retrospective cohort study and four cross sectional studies. Three studies used semiquantitative culture methods to determine density while the remaining studies used quantitative molecular techniques. Three studies reported an increase in density and three studies found a decrease in density among vaccinated compared with unvaccinated children. Four studies found no effect. There was considerable heterogeneity in the study populations, study design and laboratory methods., CONCLUSION: There was no consensus regarding the impact of PCV on pneumococcal nasopharyngeal density. We recommend the use of standardised methods to evaluate PCV impact on density. Copyright © 2023 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  • Newborn
  • Children
  • Efficacy/effectiveness
  • Pneumococcal disease