The long search for a serotype independent pneumococcal vaccine

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Introduction: Serotype replacement – a consequence of polysaccharide vaccine use – will continue to drive the inclusion of new serotypes on conjugate vaccines, increasing production complexity and costs, and making an already expensive vaccine less accessible to developing countries, where prevalence is higher and resources available for health systems, scarcer. Serotype-independent formulations are a promising option, but so far they have not been successful in reducing colonization/transmission.Areas covered: Protein-based and whole-cell vaccine candidates studied in the past 30 years. Challenges for serotype-independent vaccine development and alternative approaches.Expert opinion: Clinical trials performed so far demonstrated the importance to establish more reliable animal models and better correlates of protection. Defining appropriate endpoints for clinical trials of serotype-independent vaccine candidates has been a challenge. Inhibition of colonization has been evaluated, but concern on the extent of bacterial elimination is still a matter of debate. Challenges on establishing representative sites for clinical trials, sample sizes and appropriate age groups are discussed. On a whole, although many challenges will have to be overcome, establishing protein-based antigens as serotype-independent vaccines is still the best alternative against the huge burden of pneumococcal diseases in the world
Converso T.R., Assoni L., André G.O., Darrieux M., Leite LCC. The long search for a serotype independent pneumococcal vaccine. Expert Rev. Vaccines. 2020 Jan;19(1). doi:10.1080/14760584.2020.1711055.
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