Journal Article

The ABC of pneumococcal infections and vaccination in patients with chronic kidney disease

Stefaan J. Vandecasteele, Sara Ombelet, Sophie Blumental and Willy E. Peetermans

in Clinical Kidney Journal

Published on behalf of European Renal Association - European Dialysis and Transplant Assoc

Volume 8, issue 3, pages 318-324
Published in print June 2015 | ISSN: 1753-0784
Published online May 2015 | e-ISSN: 1753-0792 | DOI:

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In the general population, pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccines (PPV) decrease the incidence of invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) whereas the impact on the prevention of noninvasive pneumococcal disease is less clear. As compared with PPV, pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (PCV) provoke a higher, longer-lasting immune response resulting in a 45% decreased incidence in vaccine-type pneumonia, and a 75% decrease in vaccine-type IPD.


Literature review on pneumococcal vaccination in end-stage renal disease.


As compared with the general population, patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) suffer increased mortality and morbidity from pneumococcal disease (PD), being up to 10-fold for those treated with dialysis. Numerous, usually small and methodological heterogeneous studies demonstrate that PPV provokes a serological response in dialysis patients, kidney transplant recipients, children with nephrotic syndrome and CKD patients receiving immunosuppressive medication. This response is of less intensity and duration than in healthy controls. Similar observations were made for the PCV. The protective value of these vaccine-elicited anti-pneumococcal antibodies in the CKD population remains to be substantiated. For patients treated with dialysis, epidemiological data demonstrate a correlation—which does not equal causality—between pneumococcal vaccination status and a slightly decreased total mortality. Clinical outcome data on the effectiveness of pneumococcal vaccination in the prevention of morbidity and mortality in the CKD population are lacking.


Awaiting better evidence, pneumococcal vaccination should be advocated in all patients with CKD, as early in their disease course as possible. The ACIP schedule recommends a PCV-13 prime vaccination followed by a PPV-23 repeated vaccine at least 8 weeks later in pneumococcal non-vaccinated patients, and a PCV-13 vaccine at least 1 year after the latest PPV vaccine in previously vaccinated patients. In the UK, vaccination with PPV-23 only is recommended. There exist no good data supporting re-vaccination after 5 years in the dialysis population.

Keywords: antibody; dialysis; pneumococcal vaccination; prevention; transplantation

Journal Article.  5027 words. 

Subjects: Nephrology

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