It has been suggested that otitis-prone children have an impaired antibody response. To investigate this in the context of pneumococcal vaccination, we used a multiplex bead-based assay to measure serum IgG and IgA levels against pneumococcal serotypes included in the 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7; serotypes 4, 6B, 9V, 14, 18C, 19F and 23F) and 4 non-PCV7 serotypes (1, 5, 7F and 19A) in healthy (n=43) and otitis-prone children (n=75) before, 6 weeks after and 1 year after vaccination with one dose of PCV7. Pre-vaccination, otitis-prone children had significantly higher serum IgG levels against serotypes 4, 9V and 23F and against all non-PCV7 serotypes. One year following vaccination, there was no difference in IgG or IgA levels between healthy and otitis-prone children. The effect of the administration of one or two doses of PCV7 was investigated in otitis-prone children. After a second dose of PCV7, pneumococcal serotype specific IgG levels, but not IgA titres, were higher compared to the levels measured after the initial dose of PCV7. One year post PCV7 vaccination there was no difference in either IgG or IgA antibody levels to any of the PCV7 serotypes between children who received either one or two doses of PCV7. The finding that otitis-prone children do not have an impaired pneumococcal serotype-specific serum IgG or IgA response suggests that new pneumococcal conjugate vaccines may be immunogenic in otitis-prone children, however, further investigations are necessary to determine the clinical impact of such vaccines against the development of recurrent acute otitis media.
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