Background: Vaccination against pneumococcus reduces the risk of infective events, hospitalisation, and death in individual with inflammatory arthritis, particularly in those on immunomodulating therapy who are at risk of worse outcomes from pneumococcal disease. The objective of this study was to investigate the serological protection following vaccination against pneumococcal serovars over time. Methods: This was a single centre, retrospective cohort study of individuals with rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, or axial spondylarthritis who had previously received the PPSV23 polysaccharide pneumococcal vaccine (Pneumovax). Data were retrieved between January 2021 to August 2023. Dates of previous pneumococcal vaccination were identified using linked primary care records. Serum serotype levels were collected. The primary outcome was serological response defined as a titre ≥0.35 mcg/mL in at least five from a total of 12 evaluated pneumococcal serovars, examined using a Luminex platform. Multivariate logistic regression models adjusting for age, gender, ethnicity, co-morbidities, and the use of prednisolone, conventional synthetic and biological DMARDs were used to determine the odds of a sustained serological response according to time categorised into ≤5 years, 5–10 years, and ≥10 years since vaccination. Results: Serological response was measured in 296 individuals with inflammatory arthritis, with rheumatoid arthritis the most common diagnosis (74% of patients). The median time between pneumococcal vaccine administration and serological assessment was 6 years (interquartile range 2.4 to 9.9). A positive serological response to at least 5 serovars was present in 195/296 (66%) of patients. Time since vaccination did not significantly associate with serological protection compared with those vaccinated <5 years, the adjusted ORs of vaccine response was 1.15 (95% CI 0.64 to 2.07) in those 5–10 years and 1.26 (95% CI: 0.64 to 2.48) in those vaccinated over 10 years ago. No individual variable from the multivariate model reached statistical significance as an independent predictor of vaccine response, although steroid use at the time of vaccine had a consistent detrimental impact on serological immunity. Conclusions: We demonstrated that antibody titres following vaccination against pneumococcal serovars do not appear to wane over time. It appears more critical to focus on maximising the initial vaccine response, which is known to be diminished in this patient population.

Original languageEnglish
Article number69
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jan 2024


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