• A 14-valent pneumococcal vaccine was administered to 39 recipients of allogeneic bone marrow transplants, and their type-specific antibody responses were compared with normal control subjects. Preimmunization antibody levels in patients were twofold to 12-fold lower than those levels in control subjects for all serotypes. Mean postimmunization antibody levels for each serotype were also considerably lower in patients (range, 56 to 859 ng of antibody nitrogen per milliliter) than in control subjects (range, 727 to 5,626 ng/mL). Poor antibody responses were primarily associated with early vaccination after transplantation, corticosteroid therapy for graft-v-host disease and other illnesses, and the male sex. Antibody responses of patients not given corticosteroids and vaccinated more than seven months after transplantation improved with time after transplantation. Postvaccination infection occurred in five patients who were vaccinated early after transplantation. Pneumococcal vaccination has limited potential for providing protection in marrow transplant recipients except in the cases of those patients who are not receiving corticosteroids and are vaccinated more than seven months after transplantation.
(Arch Intern Med 1983;143:1735-1737)