Document Type


Publication Date



INTRODUCTION: Critically ill hospitalized patients are at increased risk of infection so we assessed the immunogenicity of 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV23) administered within six days of injury.

METHODS: This prospective observational study compared the immunogenicity of PPSV23 among critically ill burn and neurosurgical patients at a tertiary, academic medical center. Patients received PPSV23 vaccination within six days of ICU admission per standard of care. Consent was obtained to measure concentrations of vaccine-specific IgG to 14 of 23 serotype capsule-specific IgG in serum prior to and 14-35 days following PPSV23. A successful immunologic response was defined as both a ≥2-fold rise in capsule-specific IgG from baseline and concentrations of >1 mcg/mL to 10 of 14 measured vaccine serotypes. Immunologic response was compared between burn and neurosurgical patients. Multiple variable regression methods were used to explore associations of clinical and laboratory parameters to immunologic responses.

RESULTS: Among the 16 burn and 27 neurosurgical patients enrolled, 87.5% and 40.7% generated a successful response to the vaccine, respectively (p = 0.004). Both median post-PPSV23 IgG concentrations (7.79 [4.56-18.1] versus 2.93 [1.49-8.01] mcg/mL; p = 0.006) and fold rises (10.66 [7.44-14.56] versus 3.48 [1.13-6.59]; p

CONCLUSION: Critically ill burn patients can generate successful responses to PPSV23 during acute injury whereas responses among neurosurgical patients is comparatively blunted. Further study is needed to elucidate the mechanisms of differential antigen responsiveness in these populations, including the role of acute stress responses, as well as the durability of these antibody responses.

Publisher's Statement

Originally published in PLoS ONE, 13(5) [Article e0197037]. The original material can be found here.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.