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1.  Effect of Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccination on Serotype-Specific Carriage and Invasive Disease in England: A Cross-Sectional Study 
PLoS Medicine  2011;8(4):e1001017.
A cross sectional study by Stefan Flasche and coworkers document the serotype replacement of Streptococcus pneumoniae that has occurred in England since the introduction of PCV7 vaccination.
Background
We investigated the effect of the 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7) programme in England on serotype-specific carriage and invasive disease to help understand its role in serotype replacement and predict the impact of higher valency vaccines.
Methods and Findings
Nasopharyngeal swabs were taken from children <5 y old and family members (n = 400) 2 y after introduction of PCV7 into routine immunization programs. Proportions carrying Streptococcus pneumoniae and serotype distribution among carried isolates were compared with a similar population prior to PCV7 introduction. Serotype-specific case∶carrier ratios (CCRs) were estimated using national data on invasive disease. In vaccinated children and their contacts vaccine-type (VT) carriage decreased, but was offset by an increase in non-VT carriage, with no significant overall change in carriage prevalence, odds ratio 1.06 (95% confidence interval 0.76–1.49). The lower CCRs of the replacing serotypes resulted in a net reduction in invasive disease in children. The additional serotypes covered by higher valency vaccines had low carriage but high disease prevalence. Serotype 11C emerged as predominant in carriage but caused no invasive disease whereas 8, 12F, and 22F emerged in disease but had very low carriage prevalence.
Conclusion
Because the additional serotypes included in PCV10/13 have high CCRs but low carriage prevalence, vaccinating against them is likely to significantly reduce invasive disease with less risk of serotype replacement. However, a few serotypes with high CCRs could mitigate the benefits of higher valency vaccines. Assessment of the effect of PCV on carriage as well as invasive disease should be part of enhanced surveillance activities for PCVs.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Pneumococcal diseases—major causes of illness and death in children and adults worldwide—are caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae, a bacterium that often colonizes the nasopharynx (the area of the throat behind the nose). Carriage of S. pneumoniae bacteria does not necessarily cause disease. However, these bacteria can cause local, noninvasive diseases such as ear infections and sinusitis and, more rarely, they can spread into the lungs, the bloodstream, or the covering of the brain, where they cause pneumonia, septicemia, and meningitis, respectively. Although these invasive pneumococcal diseases (IPDs) can be successfully treated if administered early, they can be fatal. Consequently, it is better to protect people against IPDs through vaccination than risk infection. Vaccination primes the immune system to recognize and attack disease-causing organisms (pathogens) rapidly and effectively by exposing it to weakened or dead pathogens or to pathogen molecules (antigens) that it recognizes as foreign.
Why Was This Study Done?
There are more than 90 S. pneumoniae variants or “serotypes” characterized by different polysaccharide (complex sugar) coats, which trigger the immune response against S. pneumoniae and determine each serotype's propensity to cause IPD. The pneumococcal conjugate vaccine PCV7 contains polysaccharides (linked to a protein carrier) from the seven serotypes mainly responsible for IPD in the US in 2000 when routine childhood PCV7 vaccination was introduced in that country. PCV7 prevents both IPD caused by the serotypes it contains and carriage of these serotypes, which means that, after vaccination, previously uncommon, nonvaccine serotypes can colonize the nasopharynx. If these serotypes have a high invasiveness potential, then “serotype replacement” could reduce the benefits of vaccination. In this cross-sectional study (a study that investigates the relationship between a disease and an intervention in a population at one time point), the researchers investigate the effect of the UK PCV7 vaccination program (which began in 2006) on serotype-specific carriage and IPD in England to understand the role of PCV7 in serotype replacement and to predict the likely impact of vaccines containing additional serotypes (higher valency vaccines).
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers examined nasopharyngeal swabs taken from PCV7-vaccinated children and their families for S. pneumoniae, determined the serotype of any bacteria they found, and compared the proportion of people carrying S. pneumoniae (carrier prevalence) and the distribution of serotypes in this study population and in a similar population that was studied in 2000/2001, before the PCV vaccination program began. Overall, there was no statistically significant change in carrier prevalence, but carriage of vaccine serotypes decreased in vaccinated children and their contacts whereas carriage of nonvaccine serotypes increased. The serotype-specific case-to-carrier ratios (CCRs; a measure of serotype invasiveness that was estimated using national IPD data) of the replacing serotypes were generally lower than those of the original serotypes, which resulted in a net reduction in IPD in children. Moreover, before PCV7 vaccination began, PCV7-included serotypes were responsible for similar proportions of pneumococcal carriage and disease; afterwards, the additional serotypes present in the higher valency vaccines PVC10 and PVC13 were responsible for a higher proportion of disease than carriage. Finally, three serotypes not present in the higher valency vaccines with outstandingly high CCRs (high invasiveness potential) are identified.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings document the serotype replacement of S. pneumoniae that has occurred in England since the introduction of PCV7 vaccination and highlight the importance of assessing the effects of pneumococcal vaccines on carriage as well as on IPDs. Because the additional serotypes included in PCV10 and PCV13 have high CCRs but low carriage prevalence and because most of the potential replacement serotypes have low CCRs, these findings suggest that the introduction of higher valency vaccines should further reduce the occurrence of invasive disease with limited risk of additional serotype replacement. However, the emergence of a few serotypes that have high CCRs but are not included in PCV10 and PCV13 might mitigate the benefits of higher valency vaccines. In other words, although the recent introduction of PCV13 into UK vaccination schedules is likely to have an incremental benefit on the reduction of IPD compared to PCV7, this benefit might be offset by increases in the carriage of some high CCR serotypes. These serotypes should be considered for inclusion in future vaccines.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001017.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides information for patients and health professionals on all aspects of pneumococcal disease and pneumococcal vaccination
The US National Foundation for Infectious Diseases has a fact sheet on pneumococcal diseases
The UK Health Protection Agency provides information on pneumococcal disease and on pneumococcal vaccines
The World Health Organization also provides information on pneumococcal vaccines
MedlinePlus has links to further information about pneumococcal infections (in English and Spanish)
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001017
PMCID: PMC3071372  PMID: 21483718
2.  Pneumococcal Carriage and Antibiotic Resistance in Young Children before 13-Valent Conjugate Vaccine 
Background
We sought to measure trends in Streptococcus pneumoniae (SP) carriage and antibiotic resistance in young children in Massachusetts communities after widespread adoption of heptavalent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7) and before the introduction of the 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13).
Methods
We conducted a cross-sectional study including collection of questionnaire data and nasopharyngeal specimens among children <7 years in primary care practices from 8 Massachusetts communities during the winter season of 2008–9 and compared with to similar studies performed in 2001, 2003–4, and 2006–7. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing and serotyping were performed on pneumococcal isolates, and risk factors for colonization in recent seasons (2006–07 and 2008–09) were evaluated.
Results
We collected nasopharyngeal specimens from 1,011 children, 290 (29%) of whom were colonized with pneumococcus. Non-PCV7 serotypes accounted for 98% of pneumococcal isolates, most commonly 19A (14%), 6C (11%), and 15B/C (11%). In 2008–09, newly-targeted PCV13 serotypes accounted for 20% of carriage isolates and 41% of penicillin non-susceptible S. pneumoniae (PNSP). In multivariate models, younger age, child care, young siblings, and upper respiratory illness remained predictors of pneumococcal carriage, despite near-complete serotype replacement. Only young age and child care were significantly associated with PNSP carriage.
Conclusions
Serotype replacement post-PCV7 is essentially complete and has been sustained in young children, with the relatively virulent 19A being the most common serotype. Predictors of carriage remained similar despite serotype replacement. PCV13 may reduce 19A and decrease antibiotic-resistant strains, but monitoring for new serotype replacement is warranted.
doi:10.1097/INF.0b013e31824214ac
PMCID: PMC3288953  PMID: 22173142
Streptococcus pneumoniae; pneumococcal conjugate vaccine; antibiotic resistance; serotype; colonization
3.  Continued Impact of Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine on Carriage in Young Children 
Pediatrics  2009;124(1):e1-11.
OBJECTIVES
The goals were to assess serial changes in Streptococcus pneumoniae serotypes and antibiotic resistance in young children and to evaluate whether risk factors for carriage have been altered by heptavalent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7).
METHODS
Nasopharyngeal specimens and questionnaire/medical record data were obtained from children 3 months to <7 years of age in primary care practices in 16 Massachusetts communities during the winter seasons of 2000–2001 and 2003–2004 and in 8 communities in 2006–2007. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing and serotyping were performed with S pneumoniae isolates.
RESULTS
We collected 678, 988, and 972 specimens during the sampling periods in 2000–2001, 2003–2004, and 2006–2007, respectively. Carriage of non-PCV7 serotypes increased from 15% to 19% and 29% (P < .001), with vaccine serotypes decreasing to 3% of carried serotypes in 2006–2007. The relative contribution of several non-PCV7 serotypes, including 19A, 35B, and 23A, increased across sampling periods. By 2007, commonly carried serotypes included 19A (16%), 6A (12%), 15B/C (11%), 35B (9%), and 11A (8%), and high-prevalence serotypes seemed to have greater proportions of penicillin nonsusceptibility. In multivariate models, common predictors of pneumococcal carriage, such as child care attendance, upper respiratory tract infection, and the presence of young siblings, persisted.
CONCLUSIONS
The virtual disappearance of vaccine serotypes in S pneumoniae carriage has occurred in young children, with rapid replacement with penicillin-nonsusceptible nonvaccine serotypes, particularly 19A and 35B. Except for the age group at highest risk, previous predictors of carriage, such as child care attendance and the presence of young siblings, have not been changed by the vaccine.
doi:10.1542/peds.2008-3099
PMCID: PMC2782668  PMID: 19564254
Streptococcus pneumoniae; pneumococcal conjugate vaccine; antibiotic resistance; serotype; colonization
4.  Effects of Community-Wide Vaccination with PCV-7 on Pneumococcal Nasopharyngeal Carriage in The Gambia: A Cluster-Randomized Trial 
PLoS Medicine  2011;8(10):e1001107.
In a cluster-randomized trial conducted in Gambian villages, Anna Roca and colleagues find that vaccination of children with pneumococcal conjugate vaccines reduced vaccine-type pneumococcal carriage even among nonvaccinated older children and adults.
Background
Introduction of pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (PCVs) of limited valency is justified in Africa by the high burden of pneumococcal disease. Long-term beneficial effects of PCVs may be countered by serotype replacement. We aimed to determine the impact of PCV-7 vaccination on pneumococcal carriage in rural Gambia.
Methods and Findings
A cluster-randomized (by village) trial of the impact of PCV-7 on pneumococcal nasopharyngeal carriage was conducted in 21 Gambian villages between December 2003 to June 2008 (5,441 inhabitants in 2006). Analysis was complemented with data obtained before vaccination. Because efficacy of PCV-9 in young Gambian children had been shown, it was considered unethical not to give PCV-7 to young children in all of the study villages. PCV-7 was given to children below 30 mo of age and to those born during the trial in all study villages. Villages were randomized (older children and adults) to receive one dose of PCV-7 (11 vaccinated villages) or meningococcal serogroup C conjugate vaccine (10 control villages). Cross-sectional surveys (CSSs) to collect nasopharyngeal swabs were conducted before vaccination (2,094 samples in the baseline CSS), and 4–6, 12, and 22 mo after vaccination (1,168, 1,210, and 446 samples in CSS-1, -2, and -3, respectively).
A time trend analysis showed a marked fall in the prevalence of vaccine-type pneumococcal carriage in all age groups following vaccination (from 23.7% and 26.8% in the baseline CSS to 7.1% and 8.5% in CSS-1, in vaccinated and control villages, respectively). The prevalence of vaccine-type pneumococcal carriage was lower in vaccinated than in control villages among older children (5 y to <15 y of age) and adults (≥15 y of age) at CSS-2 (odds ratio [OR] = 0.15 [95% CI 0.04–0.57] and OR = 0.32 [95% CI 0.10–0.98], respectively) and at CSS-3 (OR = 0.37 [95% CI 0.15–0.90] for older children, and 0% versus 7.6% for adults in vaccinated and control villages, respectively). Differences in the prevalence of non-vaccine-type pneumococcal carriage between vaccinated and control villages were small.
Conclusions
Vaccination of Gambian children reduced vaccine-type pneumococcal carriage across all age groups, indicating a “herd effect” in non-vaccinated older children and adults. No significant serotype replacement was detected.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
The prevention of pneumococcal disease, especially in children in developing countries, is a major international public health priority. Despite all the international attention on the UN's Millennium Development Goal 4—to reduce deaths in children under five years by two-thirds between 1990 and 2015—pneumonia, sepsis, and meningitis together compose more than 25% of the 10 million deaths occurring in children less than five years of age. Streptococcus pneumoniae is a leading bacterial cause of these diseases, and the World Health Organization estimates that approximately 800,000 children die each year of invasive pneumococcal disease.
Pneumococcal conjugate vaccines are currently available and protect against the serotypes that most commonly cause invasive pneumococcal disease in young children in North America and Europe. Such vaccines have been highly successful in reducing the incidence of invasive pneumococcal disease in both vaccinated children and in the non-vaccinated older population by reducing nasopharyngeal carriage (presence of pneumococcal bacteria in the back of the nose) in vaccinated infants, resulting in decreased transmission to contacts—the so-called herd effect. However, few countries with the highest burden of invasive pneumococcal disease, especially those in sub-Saharan Africa, have introduced the vaccine into their national immunization programs.
Why Was This Study Done?
The features of pneumococcal nasopharyngeal carriage and invasive pneumococcal disease in sub-Saharan Africa are different than in other regions. Therefore, careful evaluation of the immune effects of vaccination requires long-term, longitudinal studies. As an alternative to such long-term observational studies, and to anticipate the potential long-term effects of the introduction of pneumococcal conjugate vaccination in sub-Saharan Africa, the researchers conducted a cluster-randomized (by village) trial in The Gambia in which the whole populations of some villages were immunized with the vaccine PCV-7, and other villages received a control.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
With full consent from communities, the researchers randomized 21 similar villages in a rural region of western Gambia to receive pneumococcal conjugate vaccine or a control—meningococcal serogroup C conjugated vaccine, which is unlikely to affect pneumococcal carriage rates. For ethical reasons, the researchers only randomized residents aged over 30 months—all young infants received PCV-7, as a similar vaccine had already been shown to be effective in young infants. Before immunization began, the researchers took nasopharyngeal swabs from a random selection of village residents to determine the baseline pneumococcal carriage rates of both the serotypes of pneumococci covered by the vaccine (vaccine types, VTs) and the serotypes of pneumococci not covered in the vaccine (non-vaccine types, NVTs). The researchers then took nasopharyngeal swabs from a random sample of 1,200 of village residents in both groups of villages in cross-sectional surveys at 4–6, 12, and 22 months after vaccination. Villagers and laboratory staff were unaware of which vaccine was which (that is, they were blinded).
Before immunization, the overall prevalence of pneumococcal carriage in both groups was high, at 71.1%, and decreased with age. After vaccination, the overall prevalence of pneumococcal carriage in all three surveys was similar between vaccinated and control villages, showing a marked fall. However, the prevalence of carriage of VT pneumococci was significantly lower in vaccinated than in control villages in all surveys for all age groups. The prevalence of carriage of NVT pneumococci was similar in vaccinated and in control villages, except for a slightly higher prevalence of NVT pneumococci among vaccinated communities in adults at 4–6 months after vaccination. The researchers also found that the overall prevalence of pneumococcal carriage fell markedly after vaccination and reached minimum levels at 12 months in both study arms and in all age groups.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings show that vaccination of young Gambian children reduced carriage of VT pneumococci in vaccinated children but also in vaccinated and non-vaccinated older children and adults, revealing a potential herd effect from vaccination of young children. Furthermore, the immunological pressure induced by vaccinating whole communities did not lead to a community-wide increase in carriage of NVT pneumococci during a two-year period after vaccination. The researchers plan to conduct more long-term follow-up studies to determine nasopharyngeal carriage in these communities.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001107.
The World Health Organization has information about pneumococcus
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides information about pneumococcal conjugate vaccination
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001107
PMCID: PMC3196470  PMID: 22028630
5.  Risk factors for nasopharyngeal carriage of drug-resistant Streptococcus pneumoniae: data from a nation-wide surveillance study in Greece 
Background
A nation-wide surveillance study was conducted in Greece in order to provide a representative depiction of pneumococcal carriage in the pre-vaccination era and to evaluate potential risk factors for carriage of resistant strains in healthy preschool children attending daycare centers.
Methods
A study group was organized with the responsibility to collect nasopharyngeal samples from children. Questionnaires provided demographic data, data on antibiotic consumption, family and household data, and medical history data. Pneumococcal isolates were tested for their susceptibility to various antimicrobial agents and resistant strains were serotyped.
Results
Between February and May 2004, from a total population of 2536 healthy children, a yield of 746 pneumococci was isolated (carriage rate 29.41%). Resistance rates differed among geographic regions. Recent antibiotic use in the last month was strongly associated with the isolation of resistant pneumococci to a single or multiple antibiotics. Serotypes 19F, 14, 9V, 23F and 6B formed 70.6% of the total number of resistant strains serotyped.
Conclusion
Recent antibiotic use is a significant risk factor for the colonization of otherwise healthy children's nasopharynx by resistant strains of S pneumoniae. The heptavalent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine could provide coverage for a significant proportion of resistant strains in the Greek community. A combined strategy of vaccination and prudent antibiotic use could provide a means for combating pneumococcal resistance.
doi:10.1186/1471-2334-9-120
PMCID: PMC2724373  PMID: 19640285
6.  Effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of general immunisation of infants and young children with the heptavalent conjugated pneumococcal vaccine 
Background
The European Agency for the Evaluation of Medicinal Products (EMEA) granted market authorisation to the heptavalent pneumococcal vaccine Prevenar (Wyeth) in the year 2001. The indication of Prevenar is the active immunisation of infants and young children under the age of two against invasive disease caused by Streptococcus pneumonia serotypes 4, 6B, 9V, 14, 18C, 19F and 23F. At the time of this study the German vaccination scheme advises the immunisation with Prevenar only for children at high risk.
Objectives
The objective of the study is first to determine the efficacy and effectiveness of the immunisation of all children with the heptavalent conjugated pneumococcal vaccine in Germany and second, whether a general recommendation for vaccination of all children would be cost-effective.
Methods
A systematic literature search was performed in 29 relevant databases for the period of January 1999 to June 2004. Thus 1,884 articles were identified which were then assessed according to predefined selection criteria.
Results
There is evidence for the medical effectiveness of Prevenar against invasive pneumococcal disease caused by the covered serotypes from a major double-blinded RCT undertaken in California. The vaccine shows lower values of effectiveness against otitis media and pneumonia. The values for effectiveness of the vaccine in Germany are below the data for California because of the different incidence of Serotypes. The cost-effectiveness rates for an immunisation of all children with Prevenar vary across different countries. One reason - besides different Health Systems - can be seen in the uncertainty about the duration of protection, another in the assumption on regional serotype coverage of the vaccine. From the healthcare payers' perspective a general vaccination of all children in Germany is not cost-effective, from a societal perspective the benefits from vaccination could prevail the cost. The actual price of the vaccine (if financed by the Healthcare Payer, 2004) has dropped and is lower than the assumed price in the German cost-effectiveness study. This fact could raise the cost-effectiveness-ratio of a general immunisation.
Discussion
The low evidence of information on the herd immunity effect of pneumococcal immunisation, the occurrence on serotype-replacement phenomenon and the effects on the prevalence of antibiotic-resistant strains shall be considered when deciding whether the pneumococcal vaccination for all infants and young children should be added to the German vaccination scheme. There is also little information on the duration of vaccine effectiveness and regional effectiveness because of different serotype incidence. The economic models thus incorporate some uncertainties.
Conclusion
At present, relatively few pneumococcal strains in Germany show antibiotic resistance. This situation shall further be observed while improving the data evidence for future decisions (epidemiologic data of incidence of pneumococcal diseases and serotyping of pneumococcal bacteria). From the economic perspective no distinct recommendation to add the conjugated vaccination for all children to the German vaccination scheme can be given. This situation may change if the price for the vaccine further decreases. Furthermore a future cost-effectiveness analysis for Germany should incorporate the effects of the replacement phenomenon, the herd immunisation effects and the effects of the vaccination on the antibiotic-resistant pneumococcal strains.
PMCID: PMC3011321  PMID: 21289926
7.  Nasopharyngeal Carriage Rate and Serotypes of Streptococcus pneumoniae and Antimicrobial Susceptibility in Healthy Korean Children Younger than 5 Years Old: Focus on Influence of Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccination 
Infection & Chemotherapy  2013;45(1):76-84.
Background
Even after pneumococcal vaccination introduction, Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumoccocus) is still an important cause of respiratory and invasive severe infection. Pneumococcus is resided in nasal mucosa and local or systemic infection begins with the nasal mucosa damage. We studied the indirect effect of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) on pneumococcal nasopharyngeal carriage rates, serotypes and antimicrobial susceptibility between vaccinate and non-vaccinated children.
Materials and Methods
From January 2010 to October 2010, 379 healthy children under 5 years old from three university hospitals were recruited. Fully vaccinated children over 3 time doses of PCV and children with no vaccination history of PCV were enrolled, and nasopharyngeal aspirations were obtained from these children. Serotypes using multibead serotyping assay with multiplex PCR and antimicrobial susceptibility was analyzed. Antimicrobial susceptibilities were determined by the CLIS guideline.
Results
Two hundred seventy six children were received pneumococcal vaccination while 103 were not. 137 pneumococci were isolated from nasopharyngeal aspiration specimens. Nasal carriage rate was significantly low in vaccinated group (P-value; 0.001). Nasopharyngeal carriage rate was 28.6% (79/276) in vaccinate group and 56.3% (58/103) in non-vaccinated group. Among those vaccinated group, 13.0% (36/276) of the serotypes were vaccine or vaccine related type with the most common type 19F. In contrast, 31.1% (32/103) of the serotypes in non vaccinated group were vaccine or vaccine related type with the most common type 6A. The resistant rate of penicillin was 90.5%. For antimicrobial susceptibility, amoxicillin and amoxicillin/clavulanate showed high susceptibility (73.0%), but 19F and 19A serotypes were all resistant against amoxicillin.
Conclusions
High nasopharyngeal carriage rate in non vaccinated group corresponded to the result of past study. However, 19F and 19A still came up as problematic serotypes with a high carriage rate and antimicrobial resistance in both vaccinated and non vaccinated groups. Also, this study showed that the resistance rate of primary oral antimicrobial agents was increased in compared to past. For solving these problems, the selective antimicrobial use with establishment of high dose amoxicillin/clavulanate regimen and active PCV immunization should be needed. Furthermore, pneumococcal carriage and serotype study concerning with antimicrobial susceptibility should be conducted in the future in 10 or 13-valent PCV received children.
doi:10.3947/ic.2013.45.1.76
PMCID: PMC3780942  PMID: 24265953
Streptococcus pneumoniae; Serotype; Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine; Oral antimicrobial; Antimicrobial resistance
8.  Report on Invasive Disease and Meningitis due to Haemophilus influenzae and Streptococcus pneumonia from The Network for Surveillance of Pneumococcal diseases in the East African Region (netSPEAR) 
Pneumococcal disease in young children has not been as well characterized in East Africa as it has been in industrialized countries. Although pneumococci are likely to cause substantial mortality and morbidity, universal diagnostic challenges plus the rudimentary nature of public health surveillance make the true epidemiology difficult to ascertain with these methods alone. However, local data are critical to inform the debate on vaccine deployment and assess vaccine impact. The Network for Surveillance of Pneumococcal Disease in the East African Region has worked to expand the World Health Organization Paediatric Bacterial Meningitis Surveillance Network - initiated surveillance process aimed at Haemophilus influenza type b, to carry out surveillance on pneumococcal diseases.
A total of 119 H influenzae isolates from children aged > 2 months but <5 years have been confirmed. Eighty three (69.75%) belonged to serotype b, 19 other capsular antigens and 17 non-typable. For Streptococcus pneumoniae a total of 442 isolates were confirmed as pneumococci; 302 from blood cultures and 140 from cerebrospinal fluid. Most of the isolates were obtained from patients in the 6 - 29 months age group; in this age group, overall coverage by the heptavalent vaccine was 56% (increasing to 67% with the addition of cross-protection due to serotype 6A). S. pneumoniae isolates are susceptible to most commonly used antibiotics with the exception of trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, and have exhibited no resistance to penicillin.
A surveillance network is in place providing local data on the importance of S pneumoniae as a cause of both meningitis and bacteremia. Serotypes in the currently available heptavalent conjugate pneumococcal vaccine and related serotypes account for two-thirds of invasive pneumococcal disease among children aged 6 to 29 months.
doi:10.1086/596494
PMCID: PMC2673056  PMID: 19191610
9.  Phenotypic and Genotypic Characterization of Streptococcus pneumoniae Strains Colonizing Children Attending Day-Care Centers in Norway▿  
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2008;46(8):2508-2518.
A cross-sectional study of nasopharyngeal colonization with Streptococcus pneumoniae was performed among 573 children attending 29 day-care centers (DCCs) in Norway prior to the start of mass vaccination with the heptavalent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV-7). A sensitive sampling method was employed, including transport in an enrichment broth and serotyping of pneumococci directly from the broth, in addition to traditional single-colony isolation from blood agar plates. The prevalence of carriage was high, peaking at 88.7% in 2-year-olds. More than one serotype was isolated from 12.7% of the carriers. Of 509 isolates obtained, 227 (44.6%) belonged to the PCV-7 serotypes. Penicillin nonsusceptibility was rare (1.8% of the isolates). Nonsusceptibility to erythromycin (5.9%), clindamycin (2.0%), and tetracycline (5.5%) was associated with PCV-7 serotypes (P < 0.001). Multilocus sequence typing was performed on the whole strain collection, revealing 102 sequence types (STs), of which 31 (30.4%) were novel. Eleven isolates (2.2%) belonged to the England14-9 clone, and 19 isolates (3.7%) belonged to, or were single-locus variants of, the Portugal19F-21 clone. The pneumococcal populations within the DCCs were composed of a majority of isolates with STs shared between the DCCs and a minority of isolates with STs unique for each DCC. The highest numbers of different STs, including novel STs, were found within the most frequent serotypes. Our study indicates that carriage of S. pneumoniae is highly prevalent among children in Norwegian DCCs, with a genetically diverse pneumococcal population consisting of unique microepidemic DCC populations.
doi:10.1128/JCM.02296-07
PMCID: PMC2519506  PMID: 18524970
10.  Serotype-Specific Changes in Invasive Pneumococcal Disease after Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine Introduction: A Pooled Analysis of Multiple Surveillance Sites 
PLoS Medicine  2013;10(9):e1001517.
In a pooled analysis of data collected from invasive pneumococcal disease surveillance databases, Daniel Feikin and colleagues examine serotype replacement after the introduction of 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7) into national immunization programs.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Background
Vaccine-serotype (VT) invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) rates declined substantially following introduction of 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7) into national immunization programs. Increases in non-vaccine-serotype (NVT) IPD rates occurred in some sites, presumably representing serotype replacement. We used a standardized approach to describe serotype-specific IPD changes among multiple sites after PCV7 introduction.
Methods and Findings
Of 32 IPD surveillance datasets received, we identified 21 eligible databases with rate data ≥2 years before and ≥1 year after PCV7 introduction. Expected annual rates of IPD absent PCV7 introduction were estimated by extrapolation using either Poisson regression modeling of pre-PCV7 rates or averaging pre-PCV7 rates. To estimate whether changes in rates had occurred following PCV7 introduction, we calculated site specific rate ratios by dividing observed by expected IPD rates for each post-PCV7 year. We calculated summary rate ratios (RRs) using random effects meta-analysis. For children <5 years old, overall IPD decreased by year 1 post-PCV7 (RR 0·55, 95% CI 0·46–0·65) and remained relatively stable through year 7 (RR 0·49, 95% CI 0·35–0·68). Point estimates for VT IPD decreased annually through year 7 (RR 0·03, 95% CI 0·01–0·10), while NVT IPD increased (year 7 RR 2·81, 95% CI 2·12–3·71). Among adults, decreases in overall IPD also occurred but were smaller and more variable by site than among children. At year 7 after introduction, significant reductions were observed (18–49 year-olds [RR 0·52, 95% CI 0·29–0·91], 50–64 year-olds [RR 0·84, 95% CI 0·77–0·93], and ≥65 year-olds [RR 0·74, 95% CI 0·58–0·95]).
Conclusions
Consistent and significant decreases in both overall and VT IPD in children occurred quickly and were sustained for 7 years after PCV7 introduction, supporting use of PCVs. Increases in NVT IPD occurred in most sites, with variable magnitude. These findings may not represent the experience in low-income countries or the effects after introduction of higher valency PCVs. High-quality, population-based surveillance of serotype-specific IPD rates is needed to monitor vaccine impact as more countries, including low-income countries, introduce PCVs and as higher valency PCVs are used.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors’ Summary
Background
Pneumococcal disease–a major cause of illness and death in children and adults worldwide–is caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae, a bacterium that often colonizes the nose and throat harmlessly. Unfortunately, S. pneumoniae occasionally spreads into the lungs, bloodstream, or covering of the brain, where it causes pneumonia, septicemia, and meningitis, respectively. These invasive pneumococcal diseases (IPDs) can usually be successfully treated with antibiotics but can be fatal. Consequently, it is better to avoid infection through vaccination. Vaccination primes the immune system to recognize and attack disease-causing organisms (pathogens) rapidly and effectively by exposing it to weakened or dead pathogens or to pathogen molecules that it recognizes as foreign (antigens). Because there are more than 90 S. pneumoniae variants or “serotypes,” each characterized by a different antigenic polysaccharide (complex sugar) coat, vaccines that protect against S. pneumoniae have to include multiple serotypes. Thus, the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine PCV7, which was introduced into the US infant immunization regimen in 2000, contains polysaccharides from the seven S. pneumoniae serotypes mainly responsible for IPD in the US at that time.
Why Was This Study Done?
Vaccination with PCV7 was subsequently introduced in several other high- and middle-income countries, and IPD caused by the serotypes included in the vaccine declined substantially in children and in adults (because of reduced bacterial transmission and herd protection) in the US and virtually all these countries. However, increases in IPD caused by non-vaccine serotypes occurred in some settings, presumably because of “serotype replacement.” PCV7 prevents both IPD caused by the serotypes it contains and carriage of these serotypes. Consequently, after vaccination, previously less common, non-vaccine serotypes can colonize the nose and throat, some of which can cause IPD. In July 2010, a World Health Organization expert consultation on serotype replacement called for a comprehensive analysis of the magnitude and variability of pneumococcal serotype replacement following PCV7 use to help guide the introduction of PCVs in low-income countries, where most pneumococcal deaths occur. In this pooled analysis of data from multiple surveillance sites, the researchers investigate serotype-specific changes in IPD after PCV7 introduction using a standardized approach.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers identified 21 databases that had data about the rate of IPD for at least 2 years before and 1 year after PCV7 introduction. They estimated whether changes in IPD rates had occurred after PCV7 introduction by calculating site-specific rate ratios–the observed IPD rate for each post-PCV7 year divided by the expected IPD rate in the absence of PCV7 extrapolated from the pre-PCV7 rate. Finally, they used a statistical approach (random effects meta-analysis) to estimate summary (pooled) rate ratios. For children under 5 years old, the overall number of observed cases of IPD in the first year after the introduction of PCV7 was about half the expected number; this reduction in IPD continued through year 7 after PCV7 introduction. Notably, the rate of IPD caused by the S. pneumonia serotypes in PCV7 decreased every year, but the rate of IPD caused by non-vaccine serotypes increased annually. By year 7, the number of cases of IPD caused by non-vaccine serotypes was 3-fold higher than expected, but was still smaller than the decrease in vaccine serotypes, thereby leading to the decrease in overall IPD. Finally, smaller decreases in overall IPD also occurred among adults but occurred later than in children 2 years or more after PCV7 introduction.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings show that consistent, rapid, and sustained decreases in overall IPD and in IPD caused by serotypes included in PCV7 occurred in children and thus support the use of PCVs. The small increases in IPD caused by non-vaccine serotypes that these findings reveal are likely to be the result of serotype replacement, but changes in antibiotic use and other factors may also be involved. These findings have several important limitations, however. For example, PCV7 is no longer made and extrapolation of these results to newer PCV10 and PCV13 formulations should be done cautiously. On the other hand, many of the serotypes causing serotype replacement after PCV7 are included in these higher valency vaccines. Moreover, because the data analyzed in this study mainly came from high-income countries, these findings may not be generalizable to low-income countries. Nevertheless, based on their analysis, the researchers make recommendations for the collection and analysis of IPD surveillance data that should allow valid interpretations of the effect of PCVs on IPD to be made, an important requisite for making sound policy decisions about vaccination against pneumococcal disease.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001517.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides information for patients and health professionals on all aspects of pneumococcal disease and pneumococcal vaccination, including personal stories
Public Health England provides information on pneumococcal disease and on pneumococcal vaccines
The World Health Organization also provides information on pneumococcal vaccines
The not-for-profit Immunization Action Coalition has information on pneumococcal disease, including personal stories
MedlinePlus has links to further information about pneumococcal infections (in English and Spanish)
The International Vaccine Access Center at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health has more information on introduction of pneumococcal conjugate vaccines in low-income countries
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001517
PMCID: PMC3782411  PMID: 24086113
11.  Epidemiology and risk factors for Staphylococcus aureus colonization in children in the post-PCV7 era 
Background
The incidence of community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) has risen dramatically in the U.S., particularly among children. Although Streptococcus pneumoniae colonization has been inversely associated with S. aureus colonization in unvaccinated children, this and other risk factors for S. aureus carriage have not been assessed following widespread use of the heptavalent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7). Our objectives were to (1) determine the prevalence of S. aureus and MRSA colonization in young children in the context of widespread use of PCV7; and (2) examine risk factors for S. aureus colonization in the post-PCV7 era, including the absence of vaccine-type S. pneumoniae colonization.
Methods
Swabs of the anterior nares (S. aureus) were obtained from children enrolled in an ongoing study of nasopharyngeal pneumococcal colonization of healthy children in 8 Massachusetts communities. Children 3 months to <7 years of age seen for well child or sick visits in primary care offices from 11/03–4/04 and 10/06–4/07 were enrolled. S. aureus was identified and antibiotic susceptibility testing was performed. Epidemiologic risk factors for S. aureus colonization were collected from parent surveys and chart reviews, along with data on pneumococcal colonization. Multivariate mixed model analyses were performed to identify factors associated with S. aureus colonization.
Results
Among 1,968 children, the mean age (SD) was 2.7 (1.8) years, 32% received an antibiotic in the past 2 months, 2% were colonized with PCV7 strains and 24% were colonized with non-PCV7 strains. The prevalence of S. aureus colonization remained stable between 2003–04 and 2006–07 (14.6% vs. 14.1%), while MRSA colonization remained low (0.2% vs. 0.9%, p = 0.09). Although absence of pneumococcal colonization was not significantly associated with S. aureus colonization, age (6–11 mo vs. ≥5 yrs, OR 0.39 [95% CI 0.24–0.64]; 1–1.99 yrs vs. ≥5 yrs, OR 0.35 [0.23–0.54]; 2–2.99 yrs vs. ≥5 yrs, OR 0.45 [0.28–0.73]; 3–3.99 yrs vs. ≥5 yrs, OR 0.53 [0.33–0.86]) and recent antibiotic use were significant predictors in multivariate models.
Conclusion
In Massachusetts, S. aureus and MRSA colonization remained stable from 2003–04 to 2006–07 among children <7 years despite widespread use of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine. S. aureus nasal colonization varies by age and is inversely correlated with recent antibiotic use.
doi:10.1186/1471-2334-9-110
PMCID: PMC2716346  PMID: 19594890
12.  Pneumococcal Serotypes and Mortality following Invasive Pneumococcal Disease: A Population-Based Cohort Study 
PLoS Medicine  2009;6(5):e1000081.
Analyzing population-based data collected over 30 years in more than 18,000 patients with invasive pneumococcal infection, Zitta Harboe and colleagues find specific pneumococcal serotypes to be associated with increased mortality.
Background
Pneumococcal disease is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. The aim of this study was to investigate the association between specific pneumococcal serotypes and mortality from invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD).
Methods and Findings
In a nationwide population-based cohort study of IPD in Denmark during 1977–2007, 30-d mortality associated with pneumococcal serotypes was examined by multivariate logistic regression analysis after controlling for potential confounders. A total of 18,858 IPD patients were included. Overall 30-d mortality was 18%, and 3% in children younger than age 5 y. Age, male sex, meningitis, high comorbidity level, alcoholism, and early decade of diagnosis were significantly associated with mortality. Among individuals aged 5 y and older, serotypes 31, 11A, 35F, 17F, 3, 16F, 19F, 15B, and 10A were associated with highly increased mortality as compared with serotype 1 (all: adjusted odds ratio ≥3, p<0.001). In children younger than 5 y, associations between serotypes and mortality were different than in adults but statistical precision was limited because of low overall childhood-related mortality.
Conclusions
Specific pneumococcal serotypes strongly and independently affect IPD associated mortality.
Editors' Summary
Background
Pneumococcal diseases—illnesses caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria—are leading causes of illness and death around the world. S. pneumoniae is transmitted through contact with infected respiratory secretions and usually causes noninvasive diseases such as ear infections and bronchitis. Sometimes, however, the bacteria invade the lungs (where they cause pneumonia), the bloodstream (where they cause bacteremia), or the covering of the brain (where they cause meningitis). These invasive pneumococcal diseases (IPDs) are often fatal. One million children die annually from pneumococcal disease, many of them in developing countries. In the developed world, however, IPDs mainly affect elderly people and patients with chronic conditions such as diabetes and alcoholism. Although pneumococcal diseases can sometimes be treated successfully with antibiotics, many patients die or develop long-term complications. Consequently, vaccination with “pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine” (PPV) is recommended for everyone over 65 years old and for people between 2 and 65 years old who are at high risk of developing IPD; vaccination with “pneumococcal conjugate vaccine” (PCV) is recommended for children younger than 2 years old who are at high risk of IPDs.
Why Was This Study Done?
S. pneumoniae is not a single organism. There are actually more than 90 S. pneumoniae variants or “serotypes.” These variants are coated with different polysaccharides (complex sugar molecules) that are, in part, responsible for the deleterious effects of S. pneumonia infections. The same molecules also trigger the human immune response that kills the bacteria. Consequently, pneumococcal vaccines contain polysaccharide mixtures isolated from the S. pneumoniae serotypes responsible for most pneumococcal disease. But are these serotypes also responsible for most of the deaths caused by IPD? Until now, the few studies that have investigated the association between S. pneumoniae serotypes and death from IPD have yielded conflicting results. Here, therefore, the researchers undertook a large population-based study to discover whether there is an association between specific pneumococcal serotypes and death following IPD.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers linked data on the serotype of S. pneumoniae isolates sent to the Danish National Neisseria and Streptococcus Reference Center between 1977 and 2007 with clinical data from national medical databases. After allowing for other factors that might affect a person's likelihood of dying from IPD (for example, age and other illnesses), the researchers used multivariate logistic regression analysis (a statistical approach) to look for associations between S. pneumoniae serotypes and death within 30 days of admission to hospital for pneumococcal bacteremia or meningitis. Overall, 18% of the nearly 19,000 people included in this analysis died within 30 days of hospital admission; among the children younger than 5 years included in the study, the death rate was 3%. Among patients 5 years old or older, nine S. pneumoniae serotypes were associated with a more than 3-fold higher death rate (mostly from bacteremia) than serotype 1, the most common serotype isolated during the study. Interestingly, in young children, a different set of serotypes seemed to be associated with death. However, because so few children died from IPD, this result is statistically uncertain. The researchers' results also show that age, gender, having meningitis, having other illnesses, and alcoholism all affected a patient's chances of dying from IPD.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings show that specific pneumococcal serotypes strongly affect the likelihood that a person aged 5 years or over will die within 30 days of admission to hospital with IPD. Importantly, unlike previous studies, this study was large and comprehensive—the Danish surveillance center covers more than 90% of the Danish population—and the researchers carefully took other factors into account that might have affected a patient's chances of dying from IPD. Thus, these new insights into which pneumococcal serotypes are most deadly could help in the design of new pneumococcal vaccines, at least for people aged 5 years or older. For younger children, however, the results are not as informative and a similar study now needs to be done in developing countries, where more young people die from IPD.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1000081.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides information for patients and health professionals on all aspects of pneumococcal disease and pneumococcal vaccination
The US National Foundation for Infectious Diseases has a fact sheet on pneumococcal disease
The UK Health Protection Agency also provides background information on pneumococcal disease
The GAVI's Pneumococcal Vaccines Accelerated Development and Introduction Plan focuses on pneumococcal vaccines for children
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000081
PMCID: PMC2680036  PMID: 19468297
13.  Optimal Serotype Compositions for Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccination under Serotype Replacement 
PLoS Computational Biology  2014;10(2):e1003477.
Pneumococcal conjugate vaccination has proved highly effective in eliminating vaccine-type pneumococcal carriage and disease. However, the potential adverse effects of serotype replacement remain a major concern when implementing routine childhood pneumococcal conjugate vaccination programmes. Applying a concise predictive model, we present a ready-to-use quantitative tool to investigate the implications of serotype replacement on the net effectiveness of vaccination against invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) and to guide in the selection of optimal vaccine serotype compositions. We utilise pre-vaccination data on pneumococcal carriage and IPD and assume partial or complete elimination of vaccine-type carriage, its replacement by non-vaccine-type carriage, and stable case-to-carrier ratios (probability of IPD per carriage episode). The model predicts that the post-vaccination IPD incidences in Finland for currently available vaccine serotype compositions can eventually decrease among the target age group of children <5 years of age by 75%. However, due to replacement through herd effects, the decrease among the older population is predicted to be much less (20–40%). We introduce a sequential algorithm for the search of optimal serotype compositions and assess the robustness of inferences to uncertainties in data and assumptions about carriage and IPD. The optimal serotype composition depends on the age group of interest and some serotypes may be highly beneficial vaccine types in one age category (e.g. 6B in children), while being disadvantageous in another. The net effectiveness will be improved only if the added serotype has a higher case-to-carrier ratio than the average case-to-carrier ratio of the current non-vaccine types and the degree of improvement in effectiveness depends on the carriage incidence of the serotype. The serotype compositions of currently available pneumococcal vaccines are not optimal and the effectiveness of vaccination in the population at large could be improved by including new serotypes in the vaccine (e.g. 22 and 9N).
Author Summary
The bacterial pathogen Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus) is a major contributor to child mortality worldwide. Hence, effective pneumococcal vaccination programmes are globally among the most cost-effective public health interventions. Three different conjugate vaccine compositions, targeting 7, 10 or 13 pneumococcal serotypes, have been used in infant vaccination programmes. The use of these vaccines has both decreased the disease burden and changed the patterns of pneumococcal carriage in locations where they have been in use. However, due to serotype replacement, where the lost vaccine serotype carriage is replaced by carriage of the non-vaccine serotypes, the net effect of vaccination on the disease burden has generally been milder than expected. Here, we apply a concise model for serotype replacement and present a ready-to-use tool for the prediction of patterns in post-vaccination pneumococcal incidence of carriage and invasive disease. We introduce a sequential algorithm for the identification of the most optimal additional serotypes to current vaccine formulations and demonstrate how differences in the invasiveness across serotypes imply that the disease incidence may either decrease or increase after vaccination. The methods we outline have direct relevance in decision making while reviewing the performance of the current pneumococcal vaccination programmes.
doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1003477
PMCID: PMC3923658  PMID: 24550722
14.  Effect of Seven-Valent Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine on Staphylococcus aureus Colonisation in a Randomised Controlled Trial 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(6):e20229.
Background
Heptavalent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7) shifts nasopharyngeal colonisation with vaccine serotype pneumococci towards nonvaccine serotypes. Because of the reported negative association of vaccine serotype pneumococci and Staphylococcus aureus in the nasopharynx, we explored the effect of PCV7 on nasopharyngeal colonisation with S. aureus in children and parents.
Methodology/Principal Findings
This study was part of a randomised controlled trial on the effect of PCV7 on pneumococcal carriage, enrolling healthy newborns who were randomly assigned (1∶1∶1) to receive PCV7 (1) at 2 and 4 months of age (2) at 2, 4 and 11 months or (3) no PCV7 (controls). Nasopharyngeal colonisation of S. aureus was a planned secondary outcome. Nasopharyngeal swabs were obtained from all children over a 2-year period with 6-months interval and from one parent at the child's age of 12 and 24 months and cultured for Streptococcus pneumoniae and S. aureus. Between July 2005 and February 2006, 1005 children were enrolled and received either 2-doses of PCV7 (n = 336), 2+1-doses (336) or no dose (n = 333) before PCV7 implementation in the Dutch national immunization program. S. aureus colonisation had doubled in children in the 2+1-dose group at 12 months of age compared with unvaccinated controls (10.1% versus 5.0%; p = 0.019). A negative association for co-colonisation of S. pneumoniae and S. aureus was observed for both vaccine serotype (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 0.53, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.38–0.74) and nonvaccine serotype pneumococci (aOR 0.67, 95% CI 0.52–0.88).
Conclusions/Significance
PCV7 induces a temporary increase in S. aureus colonisation in children around 12 months of age after a 2+1-dose PCV7 schedule. The potential clinical consequences are unknown and monitoring is warranted.
Trial Registration
ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00189020
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0020229
PMCID: PMC3112202  PMID: 21695210
15.  Short- and Long-Term Effects of Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccination of Children on Penicillin Resistance 
Recent observations have shown that wide-scale vaccination with pneumococcal conjugate vaccines was associated with a reduction in invasive disease, supporting the expectation that vaccination could help reduce carriage of Streptococcus pneumoniae and control the spread of resistant strains. However, it is too early to assess whether these effects can be sustained in the long term. Here, we used mathematical modeling to investigate time changes in pneumococcal colonization and resistance induced by conjugate vaccination in an environment where antibiotic exposure is high and resistance is widespread. According to model predictions, vaccination induced a decrease in carriage of vaccine-type pneumococci to very low levels, typically in 10 to 15 years under epidemiologically realistic conditions. Almost simultaneously, non-vaccine-type pneumococci spread in the community. Consequently, while there was a short-term decrease in the overall carriage rate, it was followed after a few years by a renewed, although limited, increase. Vaccination with a heptavalent vaccine did not affect the extent to which antibiotic resistance was selected: in all cases, the distribution of resistance levels peaked at high levels (MIC > 2 μg/ml) after 20 years. With a vaccine optimally designed to include all serotypes currently exhibiting decreased susceptibility to penicillin G, the selection of resistance was slowed down, although not prevented. These results suggest that because of serotype replacement, the effects of vaccination observed today may not be sustained in the long term. As a consequence, vaccination alone may not be successful in controlling selection for resistance in S. pneumoniae.
doi:10.1128/AAC.48.6.2206-2213.2004
PMCID: PMC415598  PMID: 15155223
16.  Identifying an appropriate PCV for use in Senegal, recent insights concerning Streptococcus pneumoniae NP carriage and IPD in Dakar 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2014;14(1):627.
Background
Since 2000, the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) and WHO have supported the introduction of the Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV) in the immunization programs of developing countries. The highest pneumococcal nasopharyngeal carriage rates have been reported (40-60%) in these countries, and the highest incidence and case fatality rates of pneumococcal infections have been demonstrated in Africa.
Methods
Studies concerning nasopharyngeal pneumococcal carriage and pneumococcal infection in children less than 5 years old were conducted in Dakar from 2007 to 2008. Serotype, antibiotic susceptibility and minimum inhibitory concentrations were determined. In addition, among 17 overall publications, 6 manuscripts of the Senegalese literature published from 1972 to 2013 were selected for data comparisons.
Results
Among the 264 children observed, 132 (50%) children generated a nasopharyngeal (NP) positive culture with Streptococcus pneumoniae. The five most prevalent serotypes, were 6B (9%), 19 F (9%), 23 F (7.6%), 14 (7.6%) and 6A (6.8%). Fifteen percent of the strains (20/132) showed reduced susceptibility to penicillin and 3% (4/132) showed reduced susceptibility to anti-pneumococcal fluoroquinolones. Among the 196 suspected pneumococcal infections, 62 (31.6%) Streptococcus pneumoniae were isolated. Serogroup 1 was the most prevalent serotype (21.3%), followed by 6B (14.9%), 23 F (14.9%) and 5 (8.5%). Vaccine coverage for PCV-7, PCV-10 and PCV-13, were 36.2% (17/47), 66% (31/47) and 70.2% (33/47) respectively. Reduced susceptibility to penicillin and anti-pneumococcal fluoroquinolones was 6.4% and 4.3%, respectively, and the overall lethality was 42.4% (14/33).
Conclusions
This study confirms a high rate of carriage and disease caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae serotypes contained within the current generation of pneumococcal conjugate vaccines and consistent with reports from other countries in sub-Saharan Africa prior to PCV introduction. Antimicrobial resistance in this small unselected sample confirms a low rate of antibiotic resistance. Case-fatality is high. Introduction of a high valency pneumococcal vaccine should be a priority for health planners with the establishment of an effective surveillance system to monitor post vaccine changes.
doi:10.1186/s12879-014-0627-8
PMCID: PMC4258793  PMID: 25471219
Streptococcus pneumoniae; Nasopharyngeal carriage; Invasive pneumococcal disease; Serotypes; Antibiotic resistance; Children; Sub-Saharan Africa; Senegal
17.  Nasopharyngeal carriage, antibiogram & serotype distribution of Streptococcus pneumoniae among healthy under five children 
Background & objectives:
Information related to nasopharyngeal carriage of Streptococcus pneumoniae among healthy children is scanty in India. This prospective study was undertaken to determine the presence of asymptomatic nasopharyngeal colonization, assess serogroups/types (SGT) and drug resistance of S. pneumoniae in children below five years of age.
Methods:
A total of 109 male and 81 female children in the age group of three months to five years belonging to different socio-economic classes were enrolled. They were recruited across all age groups from those attending paediatric OPD of a tertiary care and research centre for immunization program. Fifty three isolates identified as pneumococci were tested for their antimicrobial susceptibility pattern by Kirby-Bauer's disc diffusion and E-Test methods. Serotyping was performed by detection of the quelling reaction with specific antiserum.
Result:
The pneumococcal carriage rate in the study population was 27.9 per cent. The isolation rate was associated with age being higher (49.2%) in smaller children (3-12 months) and among male (62.2%). The most prevalent SGTs were 19 followed by 10, 14 and 7; 21 per cent of isolates belonging to serotype 10 (n=7) were 11 (n=4) were not covered in any of the conjugate vaccines currently available in Indian market. Resistance to co-trimoxazole, tetracycline, penicillin and erythromycin was observed in 91 per cent (n=48), 36 per cent (n=19), 17 per cent (n=9) and 9 per cent (n=5) isolates, respectively. All the penicillin resistant isolates were found to be intermediately resistant by E-Test. Multidrug resistance was observed in 19 per cent (n=10) isolates.
Interpretation & conclusions:
High level of antibiotic resistance was present in S. pneumoniae isolated from healthy children below age five. A pneumococcal conjugate vaccine with the prevailing SGTs would help to reduce the pool of antibiotic resistant pneumococci. Continued surveillance of serotypes and tracking susceptibility pattern of S. pneumoniae will help to introduce appropriate vaccination protocols.
PMCID: PMC4216494  PMID: 25297353
Antibiotic resistance; nasopharyngeal carriage; serotypes; Streptococcus pneumoniae
18.  Systematic Evaluation of Serotypes Causing Invasive Pneumococcal Disease among Children Under Five: The Pneumococcal Global Serotype Project 
PLoS Medicine  2010;7(10):e1000348.
Hope Johnson and colleagues calculate the global and regional burden of serotype-specific pneumococcal disease in children under the age of five.
Background
Approximately 800,000 children die each year due to pneumococcal disease and >90% of these deaths occur in developing countries where few children have access to life-saving serotype-based vaccines. Understanding the serotype epidemiology of invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) among children is necessary for vaccine development and introduction policies. The aim of this study was to systematically estimate the global and regional distributions of serotypes causing IPD in children <5 years of age.
Methods and Findings
We systematically reviewed studies with IPD serotype data among children <5 years of age from the published literature and unpublished data provided by researchers. Studies conducted prior to pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) introduction, from 1980 to 2007, with ≥12 months of surveillance, and reporting ≥20 serotyped isolates were included. Serotype-specific proportions were pooled in a random effects meta-analysis and combined with PD incidence and mortality estimates to infer global and regional serotype-specific PD burden. Of 1,292, studies reviewed, 169 were included comprising 60,090 isolates from 70 countries. Globally and regionally, six to 11 serotypes accounted for ≥70% of IPD. Seven serotypes (1, 5, 6A, 6B, 14, 19F, 23F) were the most common globally; and based on year 2000 incidence and mortality estimates these seven serotypes accounted for >300,000 deaths in Africa and 200,000 deaths in Asia. Serotypes included in both the 10- and 13-valent PCVs accounted for 10 million cases and 600,000 deaths worldwide.
Conclusions
A limited number of serotypes cause most IPD worldwide. The serotypes included in existing PCV formulations account for 49%–88% of deaths in Africa and Asia where PD morbidity and mortality are the highest, but few children have access to these life-saving vaccines.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Despite all the international attention on Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 4—to reduce deaths in children under 5 years by two thirds by 2015—pneumonia, sepsis, and meningitis together comprise >25% of the 10 million deaths occurring annually in children <5 years of age. Streptococcus pneumoniae is a leading bacterial cause of these diseases and the World Health Organization estimates that approximately 800,000 children die each year of invasive pneumococcal disease. Three pneumococcal conjugate vaccines are currently available and protect against the serotypes most commonly causing invasive pneumococcal disease in young children in North America. However, few countries with the highest burden of invasive pneumococcal disease have introduced the vaccines into their national immunization programs. Not only is it important to introduce a vaccine, but also to use a vaccine covering the appropriate serotypes prevalent in a susceptible region.
Why Was This Study Done?
Over the past few years, data on serotyping in many high burden countries has become available. The authors conducted this study (a systematic review and meta-analysis) to quantify the serotypes causing invasive pneumococcal disease in children <5 years of age in order to estimate the global and regional serotype distribution and serotype-specific disease burden. This information can then be used to estimate the potential public health impact of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine formulations and help to inform decision making for both pneumococcal vaccine development and the introduction of a vaccine into a specific region.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
Using published studies and unpublished data provided by researchers, the researchers systematically reviewed studies that included data on invasive pneumococcal disease serotype among children <5 years of age. The researchers then used statistical tools to pool the serotype-specific proportions and combined this information with pneumococcal disease incidence and mortality estimates to calculate the global and regional burden of serotype-specific pneumococcal disease.
The researchers reviewed 1,292 studies and included 169 suitable studies in their analysis, which included information on 60,090 isolates from 70 countries. The researchers produced regional estimates of the serotypes that caused invasive pneumococcal disease among under five-year-olds in different regions: six serotypes were identified as causing most invasive pneumococcal disease in North America; nine serotypes were identified in Africa; and 11 serotypes were identified in Asia. The researchers also found that seven serotypes (1, 5, 6A, 6B, 14, 19F, and 23F) were the most common globally and that these seven serotypes accounted for 58%–66% of invasive pneumococcal disease in every region. On the basis of incidence and mortality estimates of invasive pneumococcal disease for the year 2000 (before pneumococcal conjugate vaccines were introduced), the researchers found that these serotypes represented >300,000 deaths in Africa and 200,000 deaths in Asia.
What Do These Findings Mean?
This study shows that a limited number of serotypes cause most invasive pneumococcal disease worldwide. This finding contradicts the conventional supposition that the most common serotypes causing invasive pneumococcal disease vary greatly across geographic regions. Crucially, the findings of this study also show that the serotypes currently included in existing pneumococcal conjugate formulations account for 49%–74% of deaths in Africa and Asia where the morbidity and mortality of pneumococcal disease are the highest and where most children do not have access to current pneumococcal conjugate vaccines. Although the authors do not provide country-level estimates of serotype distribution, country-specific vaccine impact estimates can be made using country-level pneumococcal disease burden numbers combined with the regional serotype estimates provided in this study. This means that national policy makers can assess the potential impact of serotypes included in different conjugate vaccines, which should contribute to their decision-making process. In addition, manufacturers can now work from a consensus set of serotype coverage estimates to plan and design future serotype-based vaccine formulations to target the pneumococcal disease burden.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1000348
The World Health Organization provides information about pneumococcus
The PneumoACTION provides information about pneumonia and pneumococcal disease
The Global Alliance for Vaccination and Immunisation has information on all aspects of vaccination and immunization
The US Centers for Disease Control provides information about pneumococcal conjugate vaccination
The Word Pneumonia Day coalition provides information about pneumonia
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000348
PMCID: PMC2950132  PMID: 20957191
19.  Epidemiology of nasopharyngeal carriage of respiratory bacterial pathogens in children and adults: cross-sectional surveys in a population with high rates of pneumococcal disease 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2010;10:304.
Background
To determine the prevalence of carriage of respiratory bacterial pathogens, and the risk factors for and serotype distribution of pneumococcal carriage in an Australian Aboriginal population.
Methods
Surveys of nasopharyngeal carriage of Streptococcus pneumoniae, non-typeable Haemophilus influenzae, and Moraxella catarrhalis were conducted among adults (≥16 years) and children (2 to 15 years) in four rural communities in 2002 and 2004. Infant seven-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (7PCV) with booster 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine was introduced in 2001. Standard microbiological methods were used.
Results
At the time of the 2002 survey, 94% of eligible children had received catch-up pneumococcal vaccination. 324 adults (538 examinations) and 218 children (350 examinations) were enrolled. Pneumococcal carriage prevalence was 26% (95% CI, 22-30) among adults and 67% (95% CI, 62-72) among children. Carriage of non-typeable H. influenzae among adults and children was 23% (95% CI, 19-27) and 57% (95% CI, 52-63) respectively and for M. catarrhalis, 17% (95% CI, 14-21) and 74% (95% CI, 69-78) respectively. Adult pneumococcal carriage was associated with increasing age (p = 0.0005 test of trend), concurrent carriage of non-typeable H. influenzae (Odds ratio [OR] 6.74; 95% CI, 4.06-11.2) or M. catarrhalis (OR 3.27; 95% CI, 1.97-5.45), male sex (OR 2.21; 95% CI, 1.31-3.73), rhinorrhoea (OR 1.66; 95% CI, 1.05-2.64), and frequent exposure to outside fires (OR 6.89; 95% CI, 1.87-25.4). Among children, pneumococcal carriage was associated with decreasing age (p < 0.0001 test of trend), and carriage of non-typeable H. influenzae (OR 9.34; 95% CI, 4.71-18.5) or M. catarrhalis (OR 2.67; 95% CI, 1.34-5.33). Excluding an outbreak of serotype 1 in children, the percentages of serotypes included in 7, 10, and 13PCV were 23%, 23%, and 29% (adults) and 22%, 24%, and 40% (2-15 years). Dominance of serotype 16F, and persistent 19F and 6B carriage three years after initiation of 7PCV is noteworthy.
Conclusions
Population-based carriage of S. pneumoniae, non-typeable H. influenzae, and M. catarrhalis was high in this Australian Aboriginal population. Reducing smoke exposure may reduce pneumococcal carriage. The indirect effects of 10 or 13PCV, above those of 7PCV, among adults in this population may be limited.
doi:10.1186/1471-2334-10-304
PMCID: PMC2974682  PMID: 20969800
20.  Risk factors for serotype 19A carriage after introduction of 7-valent pneumococcal vaccination 
Background
After the implementation of 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7), in several countries, serotype 19A is now the serotype most frequently involved in pneumococcal diseases and carriage. To determine factors potentially related to 19A nasopharyngeal (NP) carriage we analyzed data from an ongoing prospective French national surveillance study of pneumococcal NP carriage in young children.
Methods
NP swabs were obtained from children aged 6 to 24 months, either during routine check-ups with normal findings, or when they presented with acute otitis media (AOM). The swabs were sent for analysis to the French National Reference Centre for Pneumococci. Factors influencing pneumococcal carriage and carriage of penicillin non-susceptible (PNSP), 19A and PNS-19A were investigated by multivariate logistic regression.
Results
From 2006 to 2009, 66 practitioners enrolled 3507 children (mean age 13.6 months), of whom, 98.3% of children had been vaccinated with PCV7 and 33.4% of children attended daycare centres (DCC). Serotype 19A was found in 10.4% of the overall population, 20.5% of S. pneumoniae carriers (n = 1780) and 40.8% of PNSP carriers (n = 799). Among 19A strains, 10.7% were penicillin-susceptible, 80% intermediate and 9.3% fully resistant. Logistic regression analysis showed that the main factors associated with PNSP carriage were AOM (OR = 3.09, 95% CI [2.39;3.98]), DCC (OR = 1.70, 95% CI [1.42;2.03]), and recent antibiotic use (OR = 1.24, 95% CI [1.05;1.47]. The main factors predictive of 19A carriage were recent antibiotic use (OR = 1.81, 95% CI [1.42;2.30]), AOM (OR = 1.67, 95% CI [1.11;2.49]), DCC (OR = 1.56, 95% CI [1.21;2.2] and young age, <12 months (OR = 1.51, 95% CI [1.16;1.97]).
Conclusion
In a population of children aged from 6 to 24 months with a high rate of PCV7 vaccination coverage, we found that antibiotic exposure, DCC attendance and AOM were linked to 19A carriage.
doi:10.1186/1471-2334-11-95
PMCID: PMC3101155  PMID: 21501471
21.  Nasopharyngeal carriage, serotype distribution and antimicrobial resistance of Streptococcus pneumoniae among children from Brazil before the introduction of the 10-valent conjugate vaccine 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2013;13:318.
Background
Streptococcus pneumoniae remains a major cause of childhood morbidity and mortality worldwide. Nasopharyngeal colonization plays an important role in the development and transmission of pneumococcal diseases, and infants and young children are considered to be the main reservoir of this pathogen. The aim of this study was to evaluate the rates and characteristics associated with nasopharyngeal carriage, the distribution of serotypes and the antimicrobial resistance profiles of Streptococcus pneumoniae among children in a large metropolitan area in Brazil before the introduction of the 10-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine.
Methods
Between March and June 2010, nasopharyngeal swabs were collected from 242 children aged <6 years attending one day care center and the emergency room of a pediatric hospital. Pneumococcal isolates were identified by conventional methods and serotypes were determined by a sequential multiplex PCR assay and/or the Quellung reaction. The antimicrobial susceptibilities of the pneumococci were assessed by the disk diffusion method. MICs for erythromycin and penicillin were also performed. Erythromycin resistance genes were investigated by PCR.
Results
The overall colonization rate was 49.2% and it was considerably higher among children in the day care center. Pneumococcal carriage was more common among day care attenders and cohabitants with young siblings. The most prevalent serotypes were 6B, 19F, 6A, 14, 15C and 23F, which accounted for 61.2% of the isolates. All isolates were susceptible to clindamycin, levofloxacin, rifampicin and vancomycin. The highest rate of non-susceptibility was observed for sulphamethoxazole-trimethoprim (51.2%). Penicillin non-susceptible pneumococci (PNSP) accounted for 27.3% of the isolates (MICs of 0.12-4 μg/ml). Penicillin non-susceptibility was strongly associated with serotypes 14 and 23F. Hospital attendance and the presence of respiratory or general symptoms were frequently associated with PNSP carriage. The two erythromycin-resistant isolates (MICs of 2 and 4 μg/ml) belonged to serotype 6A, presented the M phenotype and harbored the mef(A/E) gene.
Conclusions
Correlations between serotypes, settings and penicillin non-susceptibility were observed. Serotypes coverage projected for the 10-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine was low (45.5%), but pointed out the potential reduction of PNSP nasopharyngeal colonization by nearly 20%.
doi:10.1186/1471-2334-13-318
PMCID: PMC3718621  PMID: 23849314
Streptococcus pneumoniae; Nasopharyngeal carriage; Serotypes; Antimicrobial resistance; Pneumococcal conjugate vaccines
22.  Pneumococcal conjugate vaccination in Canadian infants and children younger than five years of age: Recommendations and expected benefits 
Introduction
Streptococcus pneumoniae infection may result in invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD), such as bacteremia, meningitis and bacteremic pneumonia, or in non-IPD, such as pneumonia, sinusitis and otitis media. In June 2001, a heptavalent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7) (Prevnar, Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, Canada) was approved for use in children in Canada. The objective of the present paper is to review S pneumoniae-induced disease incidence and vaccine recommendations in Canadian infants and children younger than five years of age. Particular attention is given to the expected benefits of vaccination in Canada based on postmarketing data and economic modelling.
Methods
Searches were performed on PubMed and Web of Science databases and specific Canadian journals using the key words 'pneumococc*', 'vaccine', 'conjugate', 'infant' and 'Canadian'.
Results and Discussion
PCV7 appears to be safe and effective against IPD and non-IPD in children younger than five years of age and, more importantly, in children younger than two years of age (who are at highest risk for IPD). An examination of postmarketing data showed a reduction in incidence of pneumococcal disease in age groups that were vaccinated and in older age groups, indicating the likelihood of herd protection. Concurrently, there was a reduction in the occurrence of antimicrobial-resistant isolates.
Conclusions
The results from the present review suggest that PCV7 is currently benefiting Canadian children and society by lowering S pneumoniae-associated disease. Additional gains from herd protection and further reductions in antimicrobial resistance will be achieved as more Canadian children younger than five years of age are routinely vaccinated with PCV7.
PMCID: PMC2095050  PMID: 18418479
Conjugate; Economic; Infant; Pneumococcus; Post-marketing; Prevnar; Streptococcus pneumoniae
23.  High carriage rate of high-level penicillin-resistant Streptococcus pneumoniae in a Taiwan kindergarten associated with a case of pneumococcal meningitis 
Background
The Taiwan19F-14 Streptococcus pneumoniae clone and its variants are being found with increasing frequency in the Asia-Pacific region. A 5-year old child with S. pneumoniae meningitis caused by a high-level penicillin resistant strain (MIC = 4 μg/ml) was admitted to a hospital in southern Taiwan. We carried out a study to determine the potential source of this strain.
Methods
Nasopharyngeal cultures were obtained from all children attending the same kindergarten as the index case. To determine their relatedness all isolates were compared by serotype, antimicrobial susceptibility profile and pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE).
Results
A high proportion of the children including the index case (32/78, 41.0%) carried S. pneumoniae in their nasopharynx (NP). The most common serotype was 19F (13/32, 40.6%). The PFGE types of the 19F serotype isolates obtained from the patient's blood, CSF and NP were identical and were related to 11 other serotype 19F NP isolates including 10 that were indistinguishable from the Taiwan19F-14 clone. All 14 isolates had similar high-level penicillin and multi-drug resistance. The serotypes of the other 19 NP isolates included 6A (2), 6B (10), 23F (5), 9V (1) and 3 (1). The overall rate of penicillin resistance in these S. pneumoniae from these children was 87.5% (28/32), with an MIC50 of 2 and MIC90 of 4 ug/ml. In addition, multi-drug resistant-isolates (isolates resistant to 3 different classes of antimicrobials) accounted for 87.5% (28/32) of all isolates.
Conclusion
The high carriage rate of high-level penicillin- and multi-drug- resistant S. pneumoniae in a kindergarten associated with a case of pneumococcal meningitis emphasizes the need for restraint in antibiotic use and consideration of childhood immunization with conjugate pneumococcal vaccine to prevent the further spread of resistant S. pneumoniae in Taiwan.
doi:10.1186/1471-2334-5-96
PMCID: PMC1289284  PMID: 16259643
24.  Association between Respiratory Syncytial Virus Activity and Pneumococcal Disease in Infants: A Time Series Analysis of US Hospitalization Data 
PLoS Medicine  2015;12(1):e1001776.
Daniel Weinberger and colleagues examine a possible interaction between two serious respiratory infections in children under 2 years of age.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Background
The importance of bacterial infections following respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) remains unclear. We evaluated whether variations in RSV epidemic timing and magnitude are associated with variations in pneumococcal disease epidemics and whether changes in pneumococcal disease following the introduction of seven-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7) were associated with changes in the rate of hospitalizations coded as RSV.
Methods and Findings
We used data from the State Inpatient Databases (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality), including >700,000 RSV hospitalizations and >16,000 pneumococcal pneumonia hospitalizations in 36 states (1992/1993–2008/2009). Harmonic regression was used to estimate the timing of the average seasonal peak of RSV, pneumococcal pneumonia, and pneumococcal septicemia. We then estimated the association between the incidence of pneumococcal disease in children and the activity of RSV and influenza (where there is a well-established association) using Poisson regression models that controlled for shared seasonal variations. Finally, we estimated changes in the rate of hospitalizations coded as RSV following the introduction of PCV7. RSV and pneumococcal pneumonia shared a distinctive spatiotemporal pattern (correlation of peak timing: ρ = 0.70, 95% CI: 0.45, 0.84). RSV was associated with a significant increase in the incidence of pneumococcal pneumonia in children aged <1 y (attributable percent [AP]: 20.3%, 95% CI: 17.4%, 25.1%) and among children aged 1–2 y (AP: 10.1%, 95% CI: 7.6%, 13.9%). Influenza was also associated with an increase in pneumococcal pneumonia among children aged 1–2 y (AP: 3.2%, 95% CI: 1.7%, 4.7%). Finally, we observed a significant decline in RSV-coded hospitalizations in children aged <1 y following PCV7 introduction (−18.0%, 95% CI: −22.6%, −13.1%, for 2004/2005–2008/2009 versus 1997/1998–1999/2000). This study used aggregated hospitalization data, and studies with individual-level, laboratory-confirmed data could help to confirm these findings.
Conclusions
These analyses provide evidence for an interaction between RSV and pneumococcal pneumonia. Future work should evaluate whether treatment for secondary bacterial infections could be considered for pneumonia cases even if a child tests positive for RSV.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Respiratory infections—bacterial and viral infections of the lungs and the airways (the tubes that take oxygen-rich air to the lungs)—are major causes of illness and death in children worldwide. Pneumonia (infection of the lungs) alone is responsible for about 15% of all child deaths. The leading cause of bacterial pneumonia in children is Streptococcus pneumoniae, which is transmitted through contact with infected respiratory secretions. S. pneumoniae usually causes noninvasive diseases such as bronchitis, but sometimes the bacteria invade the lungs, the bloodstream, or the covering of the brain, where they cause pneumonia, septicemia, or meningitis, respectively. These potentially fatal invasive pneumococcal diseases can be treated with antibiotics but can also be prevented by vaccination with pneumococcal conjugate vaccines such as PCV7. The leading cause of viral pneumonia is respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), which is also readily transmitted through contact with infected respiratory secretions. Almost all children have an RSV infection before their second birthday—RSV usually causes a mild cold-like illness. However, some children infected with RSV develop pneumonia and have to be admitted to hospital for supportive care such as the provision of supplemental oxygen; there is no specific treatment for RSV infection.
Why Was This Study Done?
Co-infections with bacteria and viruses can sometimes have a synergistic effect and lead to more severe disease than an infection with either type of pathogen (disease-causing organism) alone. For example, influenza infections increase the risk of invasive pneumococcal disease. But does pneumococcal disease also interact with RSV infection? It is important to understand the interaction between pneumococcal disease and RSV to improve the treatment of respiratory infections in young children, but the importance of bacterial infections following RSV infection is currently unclear. Here, the researchers undertake a time series analysis of US hospitalization data to investigate the association between RSV activity and pneumococcal disease in infants. Time series analysis uses statistical methods to analyze data collected at successive, evenly spaced time points.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
For their analysis, the researchers used data collected between 1992/1993 and 2008/2009 by the State Inpatient Databases on more than 700,000 hospitalizations for RSV and more than 16,000 hospitalizations for pneumococcal pneumonia or septicemia among children under two years old in 36 US states. Using a statistical technique called harmonic regression to measure seasonal variations in disease incidence (the rate of occurrence of new cases of a disease), the researchers show that RSV and pneumococcal pneumonia shared a distinctive spatiotemporal pattern over the study period. Next, using Poisson regression models (another type of statistical analysis), they show that RSV was associated with significant increases (increases unlikely to have happened by chance) in the incidence of pneumococcal disease. Among children under one year old, 20.3% of pneumococcal pneumonia cases were associated with RSV activity; among children 1–2 years old, 10.1% of pneumococcal pneumonia cases were associated with RSV activity. Finally, the researchers report that following the introduction of routine vaccination in the US against S. pneumoniae with PCV7 in 2000, there was a significant decline in hospitalizations for RSV among children under one year old.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings provide evidence for an interaction between RSV and pneumococcal pneumonia and indicate that RSV is associated with increases in the incidence of pneumococcal pneumonia, particularly in young infants. Notably, the finding that RSV hospitalizations declined after the introduction of routine pneumococcal vaccination suggests that some RSV hospitalizations may have a joint viral–bacterial etiology (cause), although it is possible that PCV7 vaccination reduced the diagnosis of RSV because fewer children were hospitalized with pneumococcal disease and subsequently tested for RSV. Because this is an ecological study (an observational investigation that looks at risk factors and outcomes in temporally and geographically defined populations), these findings do not provide evidence for a causal link between hospitalizations for RSV and pneumococcal pneumonia. The similar spatiotemporal patterns for the two infections might reflect another unknown factor shared by the children who were hospitalized for RSV or pneumococcal pneumonia. Moreover, because pooled hospitalization discharge data were used in this study, these results need to be confirmed through analysis of individual-level, laboratory-confirmed data. Importantly, however, these findings support the initiation of studies to determine whether treatment for bacterial infections should be considered for children with pneumonia even if they have tested positive for RSV.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001776.
The US National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute provides information about the respiratory system and about pneumonia
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides information on all aspects of pneumococcal disease and pneumococcal vaccination, including personal stories and information about RSV infection
The UK National Health Service Choices website provides information about pneumonia (including a personal story) and about pneumococcal diseases
KidsHealth, a website provided by the US-based non-profit Nemours Foundation, includes information on pneumonia and on RSV (in English and Spanish)
MedlinePlus provides links to other resources about pneumonia, RSV infections, and pneumococcal infections (in English and Spanish)
HCUPnet provides aggregated hospitalization data from the State Inpatient Databases used in this study
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001776
PMCID: PMC4285401  PMID: 25562317
25.  Pneumococcal Serotypes Recovered from Health Children and Their Possible Association with Risk Factor in Istanbul, Turkey 
Streptococcus pneumonia is an increasing problem worldwide and nasopharyngeal colonization plays an important role in pneumococcal infections. The aims of this study were to assess the nasopharyngeal colonization rate, investigate the risk factors for nasopharyngeal colonization with S. pneumonia, serogroup and penicillin susceptibility patterns of Streptococcus pneumoniae strains isolated from healthy children. A single swab was obtained over the nasopharyngeal walls of the 500 healthy children, of which 25 (5%) were found to be carriers. The carrier rate was significantly higher in the seven-nine years-old age group. Upper respiratory tract infection within the last month (OR=1.1, p>0.001), day-care attendance (OR=3.1, p: 0.02), and the presence of more than five people living in the house of the child (OR=0.2, p: 0.003) have been determined to be risk factors for S. pneumoniae carriage. The most prevalent serogroups in descending order were 9, 19, 23, 6, 10 and 18 and these are in accordance with conjugated pneumococcal vaccine (PCV7). No penicillin-resistant S. pneumoniae were obtained. Conclusion: after conjugated vaccine we have seen benefits of vaccine in especially colonization rate and penicillin-resistance.
PMCID: PMC3614764  PMID: 23675125
Streptococcus pneumoniae; colonization; vaccine

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