NEW YORK (Reuters Health)—Pneumococcal vaccination yields a satisfactory antibody response in patients with systemic sclerosis (SSc), but synthetic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) might reduce the vaccine response in these individuals, according to a report from Sweden.
The prospective study, published online Jan. 8 in Rheumatology, evaluated the response to either pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13) or pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPV23) in three groups: 32 SSc patients not receiving a DMARD, 12 SSc patients receving a synthetic DMARD, and 49 healthy controls. All participants had been either vaccine-naive or had not received a pneumococcal vaccine in at least five years.1
For both vaccines, the antibody response to two capsular polysaccharide serotypes (6B and 23F), as well as functionality of antibodies for 23F, was as good in the SSc patients not receiving DMARDs as in the controls. The DMARD-treated SSc group, however, had significantly fewer antibody responders, although antibody functionality was preserved.
Both vaccines were found to be safe and associated with only mild side effects.