Perspectives

Nature Reviews Immunology 9, 213-220 (March 2009) | doi:10.1038/nri2494

Science and societyMaintaining protection against invasive bacteria with protein–polysaccharide conjugate vaccines

Andrew J. Pollard1, Kirsten P. Perrett2 & Peter C. Beverley3  About the authors

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Polysaccharide-encapsulated organisms are the leading cause of bacterial meningitis and pneumonia in children. The use of protein–polysaccharide conjugate vaccines in developed countries over the past two decades has markedly decreased the burden of disease and mortality from these organisms through direct protection of the immunized and through herd immunity. In the next decade, the widespread use of conjugate vaccines in the developing world should prevent millions of deaths. In this Science and Society article, we describe how vaccine-induced immunity wanes rapidly after vaccination in early childhood and argue that strategies that sustain protection in the population must be considered.

Author affiliations

  1. Andrew J. Pollard is at the Oxford Vaccine Group, Department of Paediatrics, University of Oxford, Level 2, Children's Hospital, Oxford OX3 9DU, UK.
  2. Kirsten P. Perrett is at the Department of Paediatrics, The University of Melbourne, Australia and the Oxford Vaccine Group, Department of Paediatrics, University of Oxford, Level 2, Children's Hospital, Oxford OX3 9DU, UK.
  3. Peter C. Beverley is at the Edward Jenner Institute for Vaccine Research, Compton, Newbury, Berkshire RG20 7NN, UK.

Correspondence to: Andrew J. Pollard1 Email: andrew.pollard@paediatrics.ox.ac.uk

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