Determinants of high residual post-PCV13 pneumococcal vaccine type carriage in Blantyre, Malawi: a modelling study
Lourenço J., Obolski U., Swarthout TD., Gori A., Bar-Zeev N., Everett D., Kamng’ona AW., Mwalukomo TS., Mataya AA., Mwansambo C., Banda M., Gupta S., French N., Heyderman RS.
Abstract Background In November 2011, Malawi introduced the 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13) into the routine infant schedule. Four to seven years after introduction (2015-2018), rolling prospective nasopharyngeal carriage surveys were performed in the city of Blantyre. Carriage of Streptococcus pneumoniae vaccine serotypes (VT) remained higher than reported in developed countries, and VT impact was surprisingly asymmetric across age-groups. A dynamic transmission model was fit to survey data using a Bayesian Markov-chain Monte Carlo approach, to obtain insights into the determinants of post-PCV13 age-specific VT carriage. Results Accumulation of naturally acquired immunity with age and age-specific transmission potential were both key to reproducing the observed data. VT carriage reduction peaked sequentially over time, earlier in younger and later in older age-groups. Estimated vaccine efficacy (protection against carriage) was 66.87% (95% CI 50.49-82.26%), similar to previous estimates. Ten-year projected vaccine impact (VT carriage reduction) among 0-9 years old was lower than observed in other settings, at 76.23% (CI 95% 68.02-81.96%), with sensitivity analyses demonstrating this to be mainly driven by a high local force of infection. Conclusions We have identified both vaccine-related and host-related determinants of post-PCV13 pneumococcal VT transmission in Blantyre with vaccine impact determined by age-related characteristics of the local force of infection. These findings are likely to be generalisable to other Sub-Saharan African countries in which PCV impact has been lower than desired, and have implications for the interpretation of post-PCV carriage studies and future vaccination programs.