Prevnar-13 vaccine failure in a mouse model for vitamin A deficiency


Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus) is responsible for serious pediatric respiratory infections, and kills close to one million children under the age of five each year. Unfortunately, the Prevnar-13 vaccine (PCV-13) that is used to protect children from the serious consequences of pneumococcus infections is not always successful. Given that vitamin A deficiency (VAD) is known to affect children in both developed and developing countries, we asked if VAD could be responsible, at least in part, for PCV-13 vaccine failures. In a mouse model for VAD, we found that PCV-13 failed to elicit binding and neutralizing antibody activities. Unlike vaccinated, vitamin-replete animals, vaccinated VAD animals were not protected from lethal pneumococcus infections. Results suggest that children with VAD may be susceptible to serious pneumococcal infections even after having received the PCV-13 vaccine.