Background: The impact of the heptavalent-pneumococcal conjugate vaccine on the incidence of pneumococcal meningitis in Europe has not yet been assessed.
Objective: To determine whether heptavalent-pneumococcal conjugate vaccine implementation in northern France has resulted in a decrease in the incidence of pneumococcal meningitis in children.
Design: Multicentre retrospective cohort study from 2000 through 2005.
Settings: All paediatric departments of the 18 hospitals in northern France.
Patients: Patients <18 years of age, admitted for laboratory-confirmed pneumococcal meningitis during the study period, were included.
Interventions: Data were collected from medical files and the microbiological laboratories of each hospital and compared with the regional hospital discharge codes, using a capture–recapture method.
Main outcome measures: The study assessed and compared global and age-related incidence rates of pneumococcal meningitis in 2001 (pre-vaccine era) and 2005.
Results: 77 cases were found through the capture–recapture method. The incidence rate of pneumococcal meningitis varied from 1.65/100 000 children <18 years in 2001 to 0.80/100 000 children in 2005 (53% reduction, 95% CI 31 to 74; p = 0.08). This has so far been significant only for children <2 years of age (8.9/100 000 in 2001 to 1.8/100 000 in 2005; 82% reduction, 95% CI 52 to 95; p = 0.03).
Conclusion: A decline in pneumococcal meningitis has been observed in infants since heptavalent-pneumococcal conjugate vaccination began in our area.
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Competing interests: None.
- cerebrospinal fluid
- white blood cell
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