Modelling the impact of vaccination on curtailing Haemophilus influenzae serotype 'a'.

Research paper by Angjelina A Konini, Seyed M SM Moghadas

Indexed on: 11 Oct '15Published on: 11 Oct '15Published in: Journal of Theoretical Biology


Haemophilus influenzae serotype a (Hia) is a human-restricted bacterial pathogen transmitted via direct contacts with an infectious individual. Currently, there is no vaccine available for prevention of Hia, and the disease is treated with antibiotics upon diagnosis. With ongoing efforts for the development of an anti-Hia protein-polysaccharide conjugated vaccine, we sought to investigate the effect of vaccination on curtailing Hia infection. We present the first stochastic model of Hia transmission and control dynamics, and parameterize it using available estimates in the literature. Since both naturally acquired and vaccine-induced immunity wane with time, model simulations show three important results. First, vaccination of only newborns cannot eliminate the pathogen from the population, even when a booster program is implemented with a high coverage. Second, achieving and maintaining a sufficiently high level of herd immunity for pathogen elimination requires vaccination of susceptible individuals in addition to a high vaccination coverage of newborns. Third, for a low vaccination rate of susceptible individuals, a high coverage of booster dose may be needed to raise the level of herd immunity for Hia eradication. Our findings highlight the importance of vaccination and timely boosting of the individual׳s immunity within the expected duration of vaccine-induced protection against Hia. When an anti-Hia vaccine becomes available, enhanced surveillance of Hia incidence and herd immunity could help determine vaccination rates and timelines for booster doses necessary to eliminate Hia from affected populations.