Pneumococcal vaccination in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus: A multicenter placebo-controlled randomized double-blind study

Vaccine. 2017 Sep 5;35(37):4877-4885. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2017.07.094. Epub 2017 Aug 4.


Background: Invasive pneumococcal disease and respiratory tract infections are both frequent and severe in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). This study aimed to compare the immunological efficacy and safety of pneumococcal vaccination with the 23-valent polysaccharide (PPS) vaccine alone to a sequential immunization with the 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate (PnCj) vaccine followed by PPS in patients with SLE and stable diseaase.

Methods: Multicenter randomized placebo-controlled double-blind trial: PPS vaccine alone (placebo-PPS group) or PnCj vaccine followed by PPS vaccine (PnCj-PPS group) 24weeks later. The primary endpoint was the rate of responders at week 28 to at least 5 of the 7 serotypes (4, 6B, 9V, 14, 18C, 19F and 23F) shared by both PPS and PnCj. Pneumococcal IgG antibodies' opsonophagocytic activity (OPA) were also assessed.

Results: Twenty-five patients in the placebo-PPS group and 17 in the PnCj-PPS group were included in a modified intention-to-treat analysis. The primary endpoint was reached in 72% (18/25) in the placebo-PPS and 76% (13/17) in the PnCj-PPS group (p=0.75). There was no difference in the rates of responders with OPA. At week 52, 13/18 (72%) patients in the placebo-PPS group and 10/13 (77%) patients in the PnCj-PPS group (p=0.77) that met the primary endpoint at week 28 were still responders to ≥5/7 serotypes shared by both PPS and PnCj vaccines. Nine SLE flares were reported in 6 patients (4 in the placebo-PPS and 2 in the PnCj-PPS groups respectively, p=0.70).

Conclusion: Sequential administration of PnCj vaccine followed by PPS vaccine is safe and shows short-term immunological efficacy in patients with SLE but was not superior to the PPS vaccine alone.

Trial registration:, NCT NCT00611663.

Keywords: Conjugate pneumococcal vaccine; Immunosuppression; Pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine; Systemic lupus erythematosus.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antibodies, Bacterial / immunology
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G / immunology
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / immunology
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / prevention & control*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pneumococcal Vaccines / adverse effects
  • Pneumococcal Vaccines / immunology
  • Pneumococcal Vaccines / therapeutic use*
  • Serogroup
  • Young Adult


  • Antibodies, Bacterial
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Pneumococcal Vaccines

Associated data