Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Vaccinated children: A powerful protection for older adults, Vanderbilt study shows

11.07.2013
Children who receive a vaccine to prevent blood and ear infections, appear to be reducing the spread of pneumonia to the rest of the population, especially their grandparents and other older adults.

Results of a new Vanderbilt study, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and published in the July 11 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine show infant vaccination against pneumococcal bacteria since 2000 has reduced pneumonia hospitalization by more than 10 percent across the board, with the most significant reductions at the extreme ends of the age spectrum.

"Pneumonia is a leading cause of hospitalization in the United States. The protective effect we saw in older adults, who do not receive the vaccine but benefit from vaccination of infants, is quite remarkable. It is one of the most dramatic examples of indirect protection or herd immunity we have seen in recent years," said the study's first author, Marie Griffin, M.D., MPH, professor of Preventive Medicine and Medicine.

James Powers, M.D., associate professor of Medicine in Geriatrics, said the study suggests this herd immunity is an even more effective prevention for elders than the vaccine currently recommended to prevent pneumonia in older adults.

"The reduction in pneumonia hospitalizations among older adults appears to be related to long-term effects following introduction of PCV7 immunization for children. We have not seen a similar response to the pneumovax 23 vaccine (recommended for older adults) introduced in 1983," Powers said.

Griffin, along with co-author Carlos Grijalva, M.D., MPH, assistant professor of Preventive Medicine, and their colleagues, examined a large national database for hospitalization from pneumonia from 1997 through 2009. The result is a long-term snapshot of how pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7 or Prevnar) has impacted pneumonia rates since it was added to the childhood vaccine list in 2000.

Results show children under age 2 experienced a 40 percent reduction in pneumonia hospitalizations. Reduction in hospitalizations of older children and adults -- who did not receive the vaccine -- while less dramatic, was still impressive. But researchers said what began as a slow decline in 2000 in the rate of pneumonia hospitalizations for adults over the age of 65, appeared to accelerate over the last decade. By 2009, more than half the nationwide decline in pneumonia hospitalizations could be attributed to older adults, with some 70,000 fewer annual hospitalizations for those age 85 and older.

"Humans are the only reservoir for the pneumococcus. This group of bacteria can live in the nose and throat of healthy people, especially children. From young children, these bacteria may be transmitted to older age groups. Over time, the vaccine is causing a change in types of pneumococcus carried and transmitted nationwide. We are very fortunate to witness this in our time. These huge indirect effects on the adult population don't happen very often," said Grijalva.

PCV7 was developed to protect children against seven types of pneumococcal bacteria that cause potentially deadly and debilitating blood and spinal infections. The bacteria are also well-known as a leading cause of lung and ear infections in young children. Early studies by the same Vanderbilt investigators showed a 30 percent reduction in childhood pneumonias in the first years after the vaccine was recommended for all infants, and other studies suggested it reduced ear infections by 20 percent. But questions lingered about whether the pneumonia reduction would last, or if other, less common pneumococcal types might actually increase to fill the void left by those types covered by the vaccine.

"Sometimes when you eliminate one serotype, others become more apparent. Following the introduction of PCV7, there was an increase in pneumococcal diseases caused by a serotype called 19A, not included in that vaccine. That's why it is really important to keep studying this and seeing what happens," Griffin said.

19A is one of the pneumococcal serotypes included in the newer version of the vaccine introduced in 2010. The vaccine now protects against 13 types of pneumococcus. Researchers say they are optimistic the newer vaccine may continue to provide both direct and herd effects in the future.

"PCV13 may cause another large reduction in pneumonia hospitalizations; perhaps another 10 percent, we hope. It is important for people to know that adults are benefiting from our childhood vaccine program. These are adults who won't be hospitalized, won't be getting antibiotics, or complications of hospitalizations, and won't be dying, since the risk of death is 5 percent to 12 percent when older adults are hospitalized with pneumonia. Vaccination of infants with pneumococcal conjugate vaccines results in a tremendous public health benefit," Griffin said.

Craig Boerner | Vanderbilt University
Further information:
http://www.vanderbilt.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht How cancer metastasis happens: Researchers reveal a key mechanism
19.01.2018 | Weill Cornell Medicine

nachricht Researchers identify new way to unmask melanoma cells to the immune system
17.01.2018 | Duke University Medical Center

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Artificial agent designs quantum experiments

On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.

We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Let the good tubes roll

19.01.2018 | Materials Sciences

How cancer metastasis happens: Researchers reveal a key mechanism

19.01.2018 | Health and Medicine

Meteoritic stardust unlocks timing of supernova dust formation

19.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>