Annals of Hematology

, Volume 98, Issue 3, pp 775–779 | Cite as

Antibody persistence 5 years after a 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine in asplenic patients with β-thalassemia: assessing the need for booster

  • Ioanna Papadatou
  • Theano LagousiEmail author
  • Antonis Kattamis
  • Vana Spoulou
Original Article


Streptococcus pnemoniae is a major cause of morbidity and mortality among splenectomised patients with β-thalassemia major. We have previously shown that a 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13) induces robust early immune responses in such patients, while history of repeated immunisations with the 23-valent polysaccharide pneumococcal vaccine (PPSV23) results in attenuation of the response to PCV13. However, the duration of vaccine-induced protection in splenectomised thalassemic patients and the associated need for booster immunisation remains unclear. In the current study, we enumerate antibody persistence 5 years post-PCV13 and investigate any correlation with early immune response and immunisation history. Pneumococcal serotype (PS)-specific antibodies against 5 vaccine antigens were measured 5 years post-PCV13 in 34 asplenic adults with β-thalassemia. PS-specific antibodies against 5 vaccine serotypes had declined significantly at 5 years post-PCV13 (year 5).Year 5 antibody titres remained above baseline for PS9V, 19A and19F, returned to baseline for PS23F, and dropped below baseline for PS3 (p < 0.001).Year 5 antibodies were positively correlated with day 28 antibody titres, while no correlation was found with early memory B cell response. Previous PPSV23 history was correlated with impaired antibody persistence against serotype 19A. Antibody levels dropped significantly but remained at protective levels 5 years post-PCV13.We propose that asplenic patients with β-thalassemia may benefit from measurement of antipneumococcal antibodies after 5 years post-PCV13 as they may eventually be in need for booster pneumococcal vaccination. Clinical Trials Registration ID: NCT01846923.


β-thalassemia major Pneumococcal vaccine Antibody persistence Immunological memory 


Author contribution

All authors have contributed to this work and approved the submission.


This work has been supported by the Hellenic Department of Health (Grant ID no. 51657).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Infectious Diseases Unit, 1st Department of Paediatrics, Aghia Sofia Children’s HospitalNational and Kapodistrian University of AthensAthensGreece
  2. 2.Thalassemia Unit, Aghia Sofia Children’s HospitalUniversity of AthensAthensGreece

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