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PLoS One ; 16(10): e0254330, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1470663

ABSTRACT

Cluster randomized trials (cRCT) to assess vaccine effectiveness incorporate indirect effects of vaccination, helping to inform vaccination policy. To calculate the sample size for a cRCT, an estimate of the intracluster correlation coefficient (ICC) is required. For infectious diseases, shared characteristics and social mixing behaviours may increase susceptibility and exposure, promote transmission and be a source of clustering. We present ICCs from a school-based cRCT assessing the effectiveness of a meningococcal B vaccine (Bexsero, GlaxoSmithKline) on reducing oropharyngeal carriage of Neisseria meningitidis (Nm) in 34,489 adolescents from 237 schools in South Australia in 2017/2018. We also explore the contribution of shared behaviours and characteristics to these ICCs. The ICC for carriage of disease-causing Nm genogroups (primary outcome) pre-vaccination was 0.004 (95% CI: 0.002, 0.007) and for all Nm was 0.007 (95%CI: 0.004, 0.011). Adjustment for social behaviours and personal characteristics reduced the ICC for carriage of disease-causing and all Nm genogroups by 25% (to 0.003) and 43% (to 0.004), respectively. ICCs are also reported for risk factors here, which may be outcomes in future research. Higher ICCs were observed for susceptibility and/or exposure variables related to Nm carriage (having a cold, spending ≥1 night out socializing or kissing ≥1 person in the previous week). In metropolitan areas, nights out socializing was a highly correlated behaviour. By contrast, smoking was a highly correlated behaviour in rural areas. A practical example to inform future cRCT sample size estimates is provided.


Subject(s)
Meningococcal Infections/immunology , Meningococcal Vaccines/immunology , Neisseria meningitidis/immunology , Adolescent , Cluster Analysis , Female , Humans , Male , Risk Factors , Schools , South Australia , Vaccination
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