Background: Aboriginal children living in remote communities are at high risk of early and persistent otitis media. Streptococcus pneumoniae and non-typeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi) are primary pathogens. Vaccines with potential to prevent early OM have not been evaluated in this population. We compared immunogenicity (ELISA and opsonophagocytic activity) of a combination of Synflorix™ (PHiD-CV10, 10 serotypes and protein D of NTHi) and Prevenar13™ (PCV13, 10 serotypes plus 3, 6A, and 19A), with recommended schedules.
Methods: This open-label superiority trial randomised (1:1:1) Aboriginal infants at 28 to 38 days of age, to PCV13 (P) at 2–4-6 months (_PPP), PHiD-CV10 (S) at 2–4-6 months (_SSS), or PHiD-CV10 at 1–2–4 plus PCV13 at −6 months (SSSP). Primary outcomes (blinded) were immunogenicity against PCV13-only serotypes 3, 6A, 19A, and PHiD-CV10-only protein D at 7 months. Secondary outcomes include immunogenicity against all serotypes at 2, 4 and 7 months.
Findings: Between 2011 and 2017, 425 infants were allocated to _PPP(143), _SSS(141) or SSSP(1 4 1). An intention to treat approach including all available data was used. The SSSP group had superior immunogenicity against serotypes 3, 6A, and 19A compared to _SSS (OPA GMT ratios 8.1 to 59.5, p < 0.001), and against protein D compared to _PPP (GMC ratio 11.9 (95%CI 9.7 to 14.6)). Immune responses to protein D and 3, 6A, and 19A in SSSP were not significantly lower (i.e. no harm) than either _SSS or _PPP. For ten common serotypes responses at 2, 4 and 7 months were superior for SSSP (following 1-, 2-, and 4- doses) than _SSS and _PPP (following 0-, 1-, and 3- doses). At 4 months, _SSS was superior to _PPP. Reactogenicity and hospitalisations were rare and unrelated to the intervention.
Interpretation: From two months, the 1–2–4–6-month combined schedule (SSSP) was safe and significantly more immunogenic than 2–4–6-month schedules. The earlier responses may be beneficial in high-risk populations.