Seroresponses and safety of 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccination in kidney transplant recipients

Transpl Infect Dis. 2018 Apr;20(2):e12866. doi: 10.1111/tid.12866. Epub 2018 Apr 1.


Background: Conjugated pneumococcal vaccine is recommended for kidney transplant recipients, however, their immunogenicity and potential to trigger allograft rejection though generation of de novo anti-human leukocyte antigen antibodies has not been well studied.

Methods: Clinically stable kidney transplant recipients participated in a prospective cohort study and received a single dose of 13-valent conjugate pneumococcal vaccine. Anti-pneumococcal IgG was measured for the 13 vaccine serotypes pre and post vaccination and functional anti-pneumococcal IgG for 4 serotypes post vaccination. Anti-human leukocyte antigen antibodies antibodies were measured before and after vaccination. Kidney transplant recipients were followed clinically for 12 months for episodes of allograft rejection or invasive pneumococcal disease.

Results: Forty-five kidney transplant recipients participated. Median days between pre and post vaccination serology was 27 (range 21-59). Post vaccination, there was a median 1.1 to 1.7-fold increase in anti-pneumococcal IgG antibody concentrations for all 13 serotypes. Kidney transplant recipients displayed a functional antibody titer ≥1:8 for a median of 3 of the 4 serotypes. Post vaccination, there were no de novo anti-human leukocyte antigen antibodies, no episodes of biopsy proven rejection or invasive pneumococcal disease.

Conclusion: A single dose of 13-valent conjugate pneumococcal vaccine elicits increased titers and breadth of functional anti-pneumococcal antibodies in kidney transplant recipients without stimulating rejection or donor-specific antibodies.

Keywords: kidney transplantation; luminex technology; pneumococcal antigen; serotype-specific antibody response.

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Bacterial / blood
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kidney Transplantation*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pneumococcal Infections / prevention & control*
  • Pneumococcal Vaccines / adverse effects*
  • Pneumococcal Vaccines / pharmacology*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Vaccination


  • Antibodies, Bacterial
  • Pneumococcal Vaccines