Invasive pneumococcal disease due to 22F and 33F in England: A tail of two serotypes

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Background: A 15-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV15) aims to protect against serotype 22F and 33F in addition to the serotypes within the 13-valent PCV (PCV13) which was introduced to the UK childhood immunisation programme in April 2010. Little is known about the specific epidemiology, clinical features or outcomes of invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) due to these two serotypes.

Methods: Public Health England (PHE) conducts enhanced IPD surveillance in England. Hospital laboratories routinely submit invasive pneumococcal isolates to PHE for serotyping and enhanced clinical information is collected through questionnaires sent to general practitioners. IPD due to serotypes 22F and 33F diagnosed during 2014/15-2018/19 were compared with IPD due to PCV13 serotypes and remaining serotypes.

Results: In total, 25,415 isolates (93.4%) were serotyped and questionnaires were completed for 22,097 (86.9%) cases. Serotype 22F was responsible for 1,788 (7.0%) and serotype 33F for 893 (3.5%) cases compared to 19.9% (n = 5,047) for PCV13 and 69.6% (n = 17,687) for the remaining serotypes. IPD incidence increased for both serotypes since 2005/06, especially in older adults, but plateaued after PCV13 introduction. Comorbidity prevalence was 68.7% (n = 1,037) for serotype 22F and 67.2% (n = 505) for serotype 33F, with invasive pneumonia being the most common clinical presentation 1,067/1,482; 72.0%, and 514/755; 68.1%, respectively. There were 3,617 deaths within 30 days of disease onset, including 236 (CFR, 15.4%) among 22F, 128 (CFR, 16.5%) among 33F and 21.3% (925/4,350) among PCV13-type IPD cases. When compared with PCV13-type IPD, serotype 22F (aOR 0.58, 95%CI 0.49-0.68, p < 0.001) and 33F (aOR 0.73, 95%CI 0.59-0.91, p = 0.004) were independently associated with lower odds of death. The major circulating sequence types (STs) in 22F (ST 433, ST698) and 33F (ST717, ST100, ST673) were not associated with an increased risk of death compared to the other STs.

Conclusions: Serotype 22F and 33F-type IPD are associated with a lower risk of death compared to PCV13-type, with those presenting with septicaemia more likely to have a fatal outcome compared to pneumonia. PCV15 has the potential to prevent up to an additional 10% of IPD cases in England. (C) 2021 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1997-2004
Number of pages8
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier Ltd

Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Conjugate vaccines
  • Pneumococcal disease
  • Whole genome sequencing


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