Immunogenicity and safety of pneumococcal vaccination in patients with systemic sclerosis

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Objective. To study the impact of disease and treatment with DMARDs on antibody response elicited by either pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13) or pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPV23) in patients with SSc. Methods. Forty-four SSc patients and 49 controls received a dose of either PCV13 or PPV23. Twelve patients were treated with DMARDs. Antibody levels to pneumococcal polysaccharides 6B and 23 F were measured before and 4-6 weeks after vaccination using ELISA. Antibody functionality was studied using opsonophagocytic assay performed on serotype 23 F. Results. Number of patients, percentage female and mean age (years) at vaccination were: 32, 94%, 57.5 years in SSc without DMARDs; 12, 100%, 55.5 years in SSc on DMARDs and 49, 63% and 50.6 years in controls. Post-vaccination antibody levels for both serotypes increased significantly in SSc without DMARDs and controls (P < 0.001), but in SSc on DMARDs only for 6B (P = 0.041). Compared with the other groups, patients with SSc receiving DMARDs had lower post-vaccination antibody levels for both serotypes. Opsonophagocytic assay increased significantly in all three groups. No significant difference in immunogenicity between PCV13 and PPV23 was seen. Conclusion. Pneumococcal vaccination using either PCV13 or PPV23 yielded satisfactory antibody response in SSc patients without DMARD treatment, but a lower response in patients treated with synthetic DMARDs. Type of pneumococcal vaccine (conjugate or polysaccharide) did not significantly influence antibody response.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)625-630
Number of pages6
JournalRheumatology (United Kingdom)
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Apr 1

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Rheumatology and Autoimmunity

Free keywords

  • Antibody response
  • Immunogenicity
  • Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine
  • Pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine
  • Pneumococcal vaccination
  • Systemic sclerosis


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