OBJECTIVE - To update progress on the effectiveness of vaccine for prevention of acute otitis media (AOM) and identification of promising candidate antigens against Streptococcus pneumoniae, nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae, and Moraxella catarrhalis.
REVIEW METHODS - Literature searches were performed in OvidSP and PubMed restricted to articles published between June 2007 and September 2011. Search terms included otitis media, vaccines, vaccine antigens, and each of the otitis pathogens and candidate antigens identified in the ninth conference report.
CONCLUSIONS - The current report provides further evidence for the effectiveness of pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (PCVs) in the prevention of otitis media. Observational studies demonstrate a greater decline in AOM episodes than reported in clinical efficacy trials. Unmet challenges include extending protection to additional serotypes and additional pathogens, the need to prevent early episodes, the development of correlates of protection for protein antigens, and the need to define where an otitis media vaccine strategy fits with priorities for child health.
IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE - Acute otitis media continues to be a burden on children and families, especially those who suffer from frequent recurrences. The 7-valent PCV (PCV7) has reduced the burden of disease as well as shifted the pneumococcal serotypes and the distribution of otopathogens currently reported in children with AOM. Antibiotic resistance remains an ongoing challenge. Multiple candidate antigens have demonstrated the necessary requirements of conservation, surface exposure, immunogenicity, and protection in animal models. Further research on the role of each antigen in pathogenesis, in the development of correlates of protection in animal models, and in new adjuvants to elicit responses in the youngest infants is likely to be productive and permit more antigens to move into human clinical trials.