Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Vaccine has cut child cases of bacterial pneumonia

30.08.2010
The number of children admitted to English hospitals with bacterial pneumonia decreased by a fifth in the two years following the introduction of a vaccine to combat the disease, according to a new study published today in the journal Thorax.

Bacterial pneumonia is a serious illness caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria that mostly affects babies, young children and elderly people. In Europe, around one in ten deaths in the under-fives is caused by the disease.

Bacterial pneumonia usually develops as a complication following a respiratory tract infection such as influenza. Symptoms include difficulty breathing, wheezing, fever and loss of appetite.

In September 2006, a vaccine known as PCV7 was introduced into the childhood primary immunisation programme across the UK, to protect against seven different strains of Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria.

Today's study, led by researchers from Imperial College London, shows that in the first two years following the introduction of this vaccine, hospital admissions for bacterial pneumonia decreased by 19 per cent amongst children aged under 15 years. Admissions for empyema, a rare and serious complication of bacterial pneumonia, decreased by 22 per cent.

The pneumococcal vaccine is administered at two, three and 13 months of age. When it was first introduced there was a catch-up campaign for children up to two years. Take-up of the vaccine over the study period was high. It was administered to an average of 84 per cent of eligible children in England in the first year following its introduction and 91 per cent the following year.

Dr Sonia Saxena, who led the study from the School of Public Health at Imperial College London and works as a GP in South London, said: "It's a frightening experience for everyone involved when your child becomes unwell and very disruptive to families if they need to be admitted to hospital, so we're really pleased that the number of children becoming seriously unwell and needing admission to hospital with bacterial pneumonia and empyema has fallen since the vaccination programme was introduced. In addition, it's great that such a large proportion of parents chose to have their child vaccinated over the period we were studying. The success of any vaccination programme depends on vaccinating as many people as possible. Now that we have clear evidence about the benefits of the pneumonia vaccine, we hope more parents will be encouraged to have their children vaccinated in future."

The study showed that the number of older children admitted with bacterial pneumonia decreased, as well as the number of younger children, following introduction of the vaccine. This result suggests that vaccinating young children against bacterial pneumonia also provides protection for older, non-vaccinated children, providing 'herd immunity' by slowing the spread of disease.

The PCV7 vaccine was introduced in England after hospital admission rates for bacterial pneumonia and empyema increased by 31 per cent and 260 per cent respectively, between 1997 and 2006, amongst children aged under 15 years. The reasons for this increase are unclear. Prior to the introduction of PCV7, there were 13,771 hospital admissions for bacterial pneumonia among children under 15 years in 2005.

The PCV7 vaccine has now been replaced with a newer pneumococcal vaccine called PCV13, which works in the same way as PCV7 but protects against more strains of Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria. There are around 90 strains of this bacteria and around a quarter of cases are caused by strains not covered by PCV13.

Joanna Murray, a co-author of the study, also from the School of Public Health at Imperial College London, added: "Our study looked at a two year period since the introduction of PCV7. We are keen to see whether there continues to be a decrease in the number of cases, which is what we are hoping. Our results are encouraging, but even with a vaccination programme in place bacterial pneumonia remains an important cause of morbidity and mortality among children. Scientists are working to develop even better vaccines that can protect against more strains of Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria and protect even more people."

The study was funded by the National Institute for Health Research, the Medical Research Council and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

For further information please contact:

Sam Wong
Research Media Officer (Medicine)
Imperial College London
email: sam.wong@imperial.ac.uk
Tel: +44(0)20 7594 2198
Out of hours duty press officer: +44(0)7803 886 248
Notes to editors:
1. E. Koshy et al. Impact of the seven-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccination (PCV7) programme on childhood hospital admissions for bacterial pneumonia and empyema in England: national time-trends study, 1997-2008. Thorax, September 2010.

A copy of the full paper can be downloaded at: https://fileexchange.imperial.ac.uk/files/43f83d242db/THORAX_Koshy%20et%20al%202010.pdf

2. About Imperial College London

Consistently rated amongst the world's best universities, Imperial College London is a science-based institution with a reputation for excellence in teaching and research that attracts 14,000 students and 6,000 staff of the highest international quality. Innovative research at the College explores the interface between science, medicine, engineering and business, delivering practical solutions that improve quality of life and the environment - underpinned by a dynamic enterprise culture.

Since its foundation in 1907, Imperial's contributions to society have included the discovery of penicillin, the development of holography and the foundations of fibre optics. This commitment to the application of research for the benefit of all continues today, with current focuses including interdisciplinary collaborations to improve global health, tackle climate change, develop sustainable sources of energy and address security challenges.

In 2007, Imperial College London and Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust formed the UK's first Academic Health Science Centre. This unique partnership aims to improve the quality of life of patients and populations by taking new discoveries and translating them into new therapies as quickly as possible.

Website: www.imperial.ac.uk

3. About the Medical Research Council (MRC)

For almost 100 years the Medical Research Council has improved the health of people in the UK and around the world by supporting the highest quality science. The MRC invests in world-class scientists. It has produced 29 Nobel Prize winners and sustains a flourishing environment for internationally recognised research. The MRC focuses on making an impact and provides the financial muscle and scientific expertise behind medical breakthroughs, including one of the first antibiotics penicillin, the structure of DNA and the lethal link between smoking and cancer. Today MRC funded scientists tackle research into the major health challenges of the 21st century.

Website: www.mrc.ac.uk

Sam Wong | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.imperial.ac.uk
http://www.mrc.ac.uk

Further reports about: MRC PCV13 PCV7 Science TV Streptococcus Streptococcus pneumoniae Thorax health services

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht The personality factor: How to foster the sharing of research data
06.09.2017 | ZBW – Leibniz-Informationszentrum Wirtschaft

nachricht Europe’s Demographic Future. Where the Regions Are Heading after a Decade of Crises
10.08.2017 | Berlin-Institut für Bevölkerung und Entwicklung

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

Im Focus: Fast, convenient & standardized: New lab innovation for automated tissue engineering & drug

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems Holding GmbH about commercial use of a multi-well tissue plate for automated and reliable tissue engineering & drug testing.

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems...

Im Focus: Silencing bacteria

HZI researchers pave the way for new agents that render hospital pathogens mute

Pathogenic bacteria are becoming resistant to common antibiotics to an ever increasing degree. One of the most difficult germs is Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Molecular Force Sensors

20.09.2017 | Life Sciences

Producing electricity during flight

20.09.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

20.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>