What is the Difference Between PCV13 and PPSV23

The key difference between PCV13 and PPSV23 is that PCV13 (13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine) is a vaccine against pneumonia that contains 13 antigens from common serotypes, while PPSV23 (23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine) is a vaccine against pneumonia that contains 23 antigens from common serotypes.

Pneumonia is a respiratory disease that causes significant morbidity and mortality in the world. Streptococcus pneumoniae bacterium is the most commonly identified pathogen that causes community-acquired pneumonia. In the United States, S. pneumoniae is responsible for 500,000 cases of pneumonia and 50,000 cases of bacteremia each year. In addition to the public health concerns, pneumonia also accounts for a huge cost to the health care system. There are two vaccines currently targeting S. pneumoniae. These two vaccines are PCV13 and PPSV23.

CONTENTS

1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is PCV13  
3. What is PPSV23
4. Similarities – PCV13 and PPSV23
5. PCV13 vs PPSV23 in Tabular Form
6. Summary –  PCV13 vs PPSV23

What is PCV13?

PCV13 (13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine) is a vaccine against pneumonia caused by Streptococcus pneumonia. This vaccine contains 13 antigens from common serotypes. Another name for PCV13 is Prevnar 13. It is a conjugate vaccine that is normally used to protect infants, young children, and adults against pneumonia caused by the bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae. It contains purified capsular polysaccharides of pneumococcal serotypes conjugated to a carrier protein. Normally this carrier protein is a diphtheria carrier protein. This conjugation improves the antibody response.

Figure 01: PCV13

The world health organization recommends this conjugate vaccine in routine immunization of children. Moreover, this PCV13 conjugate vaccine is manufactured by Pfizer (formerly Wyeth) company. The thirteen serotypes of pneumococcus in this vaccine are 1, 3, 4, 5, 6A, 6B, 7F, 9V, 14, 18C, 19A, 19F and 23F. PCV 13 was approved by European Union in December 2009. In February 2010, it was approved in the United States to replace the pneumococcal 7-valent conjugate vaccine.

The side effects of this vaccine are redness, swelling, pain, tenderness where a shot is given, fever, loss of appetite, fussiness, tiredness, headache, chills, etc. Furthermore, patients should contact the healthcare provider immediately for severe allergic reactions after vaccination from this conjugate vaccine.

What is PPSV23?

PPSV23 (23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine) is a vaccine against pneumonia caused by Streptococcus pneumonia. This polysaccharide vaccine contains 23 antigens from common serotypes. PPSV23 can prevent a pneumococcal disease similar to the PCV13 vaccine. In addition to pneumonia, PPSV23 can also prevent ear infections, sinus infections, meningitis and bacteremia.

Figure 02: PPSV23

PPSV23 is recommended for all adults 65 years or older and anyone 2 years or older with certain medical conditions. Generally, PPSV23 provides protection against 23 types of bacteria that cause pneumococcal disease. PPSV23 is very important for those who suffer from HIV/AIDS. The serotypes present in the vaccine are 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6B, 7F, 8, 9N, 9V, 10A, 11A, 12F, 14, 15B, 17F, 18C, 19F, 19A, 20, 22F, 23F, and 33F. This vaccine also can give side effects such as redness, soreness, or pain where a shot is given, tiredness, weakness, swelling or thickening of the injection site, fever, muscle ache and severe allergic reactions, etc.

What are the Similarities Between PCV13 and PPSV23?

  • PCV13 and PPSV23 are two vaccines that target the bacterium pneumoniae.
  • Both vaccines contain capsular polysaccharides of pneumococcal serotypes.
  • These vaccines treat pneumococcal disease.
  • Both vaccines prevent ear infections, sinus infections, meningitis, bacteremia, in addition to pneumonia.
  • Twelve of thirteen serotypes included in PCV13 are common to PPSV23.

What is the Difference Between PCV13 and PPSV23?

PCV13 is a vaccine against pneumonia that contains 13 antigens from common serotypes, while PPSV23 is a vaccine against pneumonia that contains 23 antigens from common serotypes. So, this is the key difference between PCV13 and PPSV23. Furthermore, PCV13 covers a smaller number of pneumococcal serotypes but may induce effective, long-lasting immunity, while PPSV23 covers a greater number of pneumococcal serotypes but may not induce effective long-lasting immunity.

The below infographic lists the differences between PCV13 and PPSV23 in tabular form for side by side comparison.

Summary – PCV13 vs PPSV23

Streptococcus pneumoniae is the most commonly identified pathogen that causes community-acquired pneumonia. There are two vaccines currently targeting S. pneumoniae. They are PCV13 and PPSV23. PCV13 protects against 13 types of Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria that cause pneumococcal disease, while PPSV23 protects against 23 types of Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria that cause pneumococcal disease. Thus, this is the key difference between PCV13 and PPSV23.