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BACKGROUND: Monitoring changes in pharyngeal carriage of pneumococcus in children following 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13) introduction in the United Kingdom in 2010 informs understanding of patterns of invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) incidence. METHODS: Nasopharyngeal swabs from healthy children vaccinated with PCV13 according to schedule (2, 4, and 12 months) were cultured and serotyped. Results for children aged 13-48 months were compared between 2014-2015 and 2017-2019 and with children aged 6-12 months (2017-2020). Blood was obtained from a subset of children for pneumococcal serotype-specific immunoglobulin G (IgG). RESULTS: Total pneumococcal carriage at 13-48 months was 47.9% (473/988) in 2014-2015 and 51.8% (412/795) in 2017-2019 (P = .10); at age 6-12 months this value was 44.6% (274/615). In 2017-2019, 2.9% (95% confidence interval, 1.8%-4.3%) of children aged 13-48 months carried PCV13 serotypes (mainly 3 [1.5%] and 19A [0.8%]) and >20% carried the additional 20-valent PCV (PCV20) serotypes. Similar proportions of children had IgG ≥0.35 IU/mL for each serotype in 2014-2015 and 2017-2019. Serotype 7C carriage increased significantly (P < .01) between 2014-2015 and 2017-2019. Carriage of PCV20 serotypes 8 and 12F, both major causes of IPD, was rare. CONCLUSIONS: Introduction of PCV20, if licensed for children, could significantly change the composition of pneumococcal serotypes carried in the pharynx of UK children. CLINICAL TRIALS REGISTRATION: NCT03102840.

Original publication




Journal article


J Infect Dis

Publication Date





610 - 621


IPD, PCV, carriage, conjugate, invasive, nasopharyngeal, pneumococcal, serotype, vaccine, Humans, Child, Infant, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Serogroup, Vaccines, Conjugate, Carrier State, Pneumococcal Vaccines, Pneumococcal Infections, Nasopharynx, England, Immunoglobulin G