Vaccines as a tool to estimate the burden of severe influenza in children of low-resourced areas (November 30-December 1, 2012, Les Pensieres, Veyrier-du-Lac, France)

Bradford D. Gessner, W. Abdullah Brooks, Kathleen M. Neuzil, Guy Vernet, Rick A. Bright, John S. Tam, Joseph Bresee, Arnold S. Monto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


There is an increasing focus on influenza in low-resourced areas as a vaccine-preventable cause of severelower respiratory disease in young children, especially among those under two years of age. The extentof the disease burden is unclear: current etiologic studies may underestimate the impact of influenzaif recognized or unrecognized infection occurs some time before severe disease manifestations promptspecimen collection for diagnosis. Because of various methodological challenges, a vaccine probe approach was used to estimate vac-cine preventable disease incidence (VPDI) for Streptococcus pneumoniae and Haemophilus influenzae typeb, particularly for pneumonia outcomes among young children. A similar approach could be used todetermine VPDI for influenza. A highly effective vaccine would facilitate this approach; however, withappropriate design, a less than ideal vaccine also could be used to estimate VPDI. Because influenza vac-cine efficacy against severe disease may be greater than against all symptomatic influenza disease, avaccine probe approach could provide a better measure than etiologic studies of the public health utilityof influenza vaccine. The first 6 months of life is a time of particularly increased influenza risk among young children, andan age group for which current vaccines are not approved. Previous studies have found that maternalinfluenza immunization can reduce acute respiratory infection in the infant during this vulnerable period. Additional randomized, controlled trials are currently underway using a vaccine probe approach to esti-mate VPDI among mothers and their infants following maternal influenza immunization. The WorldHealth Organization now identifies pregnant women as the highest priority target group for influenzavaccination. Should countries implement this strategy, infants age 6-23 months likely would remain atincreased risk; vaccine probe approaches could quantify the public health benefit of immunizing thisgroup.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3222-3228
Number of pages7
Issue number32
StatePublished - 2013


  • Clinical trial
  • Conference report
  • Disease burden
  • Immunization
  • Influenza
  • Vaccinea

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • veterinary(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases

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