Development and evaluation of pneumococcal conjugate vaccines: clinical trials and control tests

Crit Rev Microbiol. 2002;28(1):27-41. doi: 10.1080/1040-840291046678.


Streptococcus pneumoniae is a major cause of pneumonia, meningitis, and otitis media and is responsible for disease in young children, the elderly, and immunocompromised individuals. Emerging high-level resistance to penicillin, multiple antibiotics, and tolerance to vancomycin emphasizes the importance of preventing pneumococcal infection by alternative methods such as immunization. The development of pneumococcal conjugate vaccines using the same carrier proteins as those used in Hemophilus influenzae type b vaccines has enhanced the immune response in infants and children compared with polysaccharide vaccines and has significantly improved the ability to prevent pneumococcal disease in this population worldwide. Here we review the clinical trials of multivalent pneumococcal conjugate vaccines under evaluation, identify potential carrier proteins considered for development of future pneumococcal conjugate vaccines, discuss issues regarding licensure of new candidate vaccines from a clinical trial and quality control perspective, and alternative vaccine strategies for the prevention of pneumococcal disease.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Glycoconjugates / immunology
  • Humans
  • Pneumococcal Vaccines / immunology*
  • Pneumococcal Vaccines / standards
  • Quality Control
  • Vaccines, Conjugate / immunology


  • Glycoconjugates
  • Pneumococcal Vaccines
  • Vaccines, Conjugate