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1.  High Prevalence of Antimicrobial Resistance among Clinical Streptococcus pneumoniae Isolates in Asia (an ANSORP Study) 
A total of 685 clinical Streptococcus pneumoniae isolates from patients with pneumococcal diseases were collected from 14 centers in 11 Asian countries from January 2000 to June 2001. The in vitro susceptibilities of the isolates to 14 antimicrobial agents were determined by the broth microdilution test. Among the isolates tested, 483 (52.4%) were not susceptible to penicillin, 23% were intermediate, and 29.4% were penicillin resistant (MICs ≥ 2 mg/liter). Isolates from Vietnam showed the highest prevalence of penicillin resistance (71.4%), followed by those from Korea (54.8%), Hong Kong (43.2%), and Taiwan (38.6%). The penicillin MICs at which 90% of isolates are inhibited (MIC90s) were 4 mg/liter among isolates from Vietnam, Hong Kong, Korea, and Taiwan. The prevalence of erythromycin resistance was also very high in Vietnam (92.1%), Taiwan (86%), Korea (80.6%), Hong Kong (76.8%), and China (73.9%). The MIC90s of erythromycin were >32 mg/liter among isolates from Korea, Vietnam, China, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, and Hong Kong. Isolates from Hong Kong showed the highest rate of ciprofloxacin resistance (11.8%), followed by isolates from Sri Lanka (9.5%), the Philippines (9.1%), and Korea (6.5%). Multilocus sequence typing showed that the spread of the Taiwan19F clone and the Spain23F clone could be one of the major reasons for the rapid increases in antimicrobial resistance among S. pneumoniae isolates in Asia. Data from the multinational surveillance study clearly documented distinctive increases in the prevalence rates and the levels of antimicrobial resistance among S. pneumoniae isolates in many Asian countries, which are among the highest in the world published to date.
PMCID: PMC415617  PMID: 15155207
2.  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.
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.
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
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
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)
PMCID: PMC3071372  PMID: 21483718
3.  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
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]).
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
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
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
PMCID: PMC3782411  PMID: 24086113
4.  Pneumococcal Carriage in Young Children One Year after Introduction of the 13-Valent Conjugate Vaccine in Italy 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(10):e76309.
In mid 2010, the 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7) was replaced by the 13-valent conjugate vaccine (PCV13) for childhood immunization in Italy. Our objective in this study was to obtain a snapshot of pneumococcal carriage frequency, colonizing serotypes, and antibiotic resistance in healthy children in two Italian cities one year after PCV13 was introduced.
Nasopharyngeal swabs were obtained from 571 children aged 0-5 years from November 2011-April 2012. Pneumococcal isolates were serotyped and tested for antimicrobial susceptibility. Penicillin and/or erythromycin non-susceptible isolates were analyzed by Multi Locus Sequence Typing (MLST).
Among the children examined, 81.2% had received at least one dose of PCV7 or PCV13 and 74.9% had completed the recommended vaccination schedule for their age. Among the latter, 57.3% of children had received PCV7, 27.1% PCV13, and 15.6% a combination of the two vaccines. The overall carriage rate was 32.9%, with children aged 6-35 months the most prone to pneumococcal colonization (6-23 months OR: 3.75; 95% CI: 2.19-6.43 and 24-35 months OR: 3.15, 95%CI: 2.36-4.22). A total of 184 pneumococcal isolates were serotyped and divided into PCV7 (5.4%), PCV13 (18.0%), and non-PCV13 (82.0%) serotypes. Serotypes 6C, 24F, and 19A were the most prevalent (10.3%, 8.6%, and 8.1%, respectively). The proportion of penicillin non-susceptible (MIC >0.6 mg/L) isolates was 30.9%, while 42.3% were erythromycin resistant. Non-PCV13 serotypes accounted for 75.4% and 70.8% of the penicillin and erythromycin non-susceptible isolates, respectively.
Our results revealed low rates of PCV7 and PCV13 serotypes in Italian children, potentially due to the effects of vaccination. As the use of PCV13 continues, its potential impact on vaccine serotypes such as 19A and cross-reactive serotypes such as 6C will be assessed, with this study providing a baseline for further analysis of surveillance isolates.
PMCID: PMC3790677  PMID: 24124543
5.  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.
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.
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
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
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
PMCID: PMC2950132  PMID: 20957191
6.  High Nasopharyngeal Carriage of Non-Vaccine Serotypes in Western Australian Aboriginal People Following 10 Years of Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccination 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(12):e82280.
Invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) continues to occur at high rates among Australian Aboriginal people. The seven-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (7vPCV) was given in a 2-4-6-month schedule from 2001, with a 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (23vPPV) booster at 18 months, and replaced with 13vPCV in July 2011. Since carriage surveillance can supplement IPD surveillance, we have monitored pneumococcal carriage in western Australia (WA) since 2008 to assess the impact of the 10-year 7vPCV program.
We collected 1,500 nasopharyngeal specimens from Aboriginal people living in varied regions of WA from August 2008 until June 2011. Specimens were cultured on selective media. Pneumococcal isolates were serotyped by the quellung reaction.
Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae and Moraxella catarrhalis were carried by 71.9%, 63.2% and 63.3% respectively of children <5 years of age, and 34.6%, 22.4% and 27.2% of people ≥5 years. Of 43 pneumococcal serotypes identified, the most common were 19A, 16F and 6C in children <5 years, and 15B, 34 and 22F in older people. 7vPCV serotypes accounted for 14.5% of all serotypeable isolates, 13vPCV for 32.4% and 23vPPV for 49.9%, with little variation across all age groups. Serotypes 1 and 12F were rarely identified, despite causing recent IPD outbreaks in WA. Complete penicillin resistance (MIC ≥2µg/ml) was found in 1.6% of serotype 19A (5.2%), 19F (4.9%) and 16F (3.2%) isolates and reduced penicillin susceptibility (MIC ≥0.125µg/ml) in 24.9% of isolates, particularly 19F (92.7%), 19A (41.3%), 16F (29.0%). Multi-resistance to cotrimoxazole, tetracycline and erythromycin was found in 83.0% of 23F isolates. Among non-serotypeable isolates 76.0% had reduced susceptibility and 4.0% showed complete resistance to penicillin.
Ten years after introduction of 7vPCV for Aboriginal Australian children, 7vPCV serotypes account for a small proportion of carried pneumococci. A large proportion of circulating serotypes are not covered by any currently licensed vaccine.
PMCID: PMC3857785  PMID: 24349245
7.  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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
PMCID: PMC4258793  PMID: 25471219
Streptococcus pneumoniae; Nasopharyngeal carriage; Invasive pneumococcal disease; Serotypes; Antibiotic resistance; Children; Sub-Saharan Africa; Senegal
8.  Macrolide resistance determinants among Streptococcus pneumoniae isolates from carriers in Central Greece 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2012;12:255.
We sought to characterize the temporal trends in nasopharyngeal carriage of macrolide-resistant pneumococci during a period with increased heptavalent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7) coverage in Central Greece.
Streptococcus pneumoniae isolates were recovered from 2649 nasopharyngeal samples obtained from day-care center attendees in Central Greece during 2005–2009. A phenotypic and genotypic analysis of the isolates was performed, including the identification of macrolide resistance genes mef(A), subclasses mef(A) and mef(E), as well as erm(B).
Of the 1105 typeable S. pneumoniae isolates, 265 (24%) were macrolide-resistant; 22% in 2005, 33.3% in 2006, 23.7% in 2007, and 20.5% in 2009 (P=0.398). Among these macrolide-resistant pneumococci, 28.5% possessed erm(B), 24.3% erm(B)+mef(E), 41.8% mef(E), and 5.3% mef(A). A mef gene as the sole resistance determinant was carried by 31% of macrolide-resistant isolates belonging to PCV7 serotypes and 75.8% of the non-PCV7 serotypes. Across the 4 annual surveillances, pneumococci carrying mef(A) gradually disappeared, whereas serotype 19F isolates carrying both erm(B) and mef(E) persisted without significant yearly fluctuations. Among isolates belonging to non-PCV7 serotypes, macrolide-resistance was observed in those of serotypes 6A, 19A, 10A, 15A, 15B/C, 35F, 35A, and 24F. In 2009, ie 5 years after the introduction of PCV7 in our country, 59% of macrolide-resistant pneumococci belonged to non-PCV7 serotypes.
Across the study period, the annual frequency of macrolide-resistant isolates did not change significantly, but in 2009 a marked shift to non-PCV7 serotypes occurred. Overall, more than half of the macrolide-resistant isolates possessed erm(B) either alone or in combination with mef(E). erm(B) dominated among isolates belonging to PCV7 serotypes, but not among those of non-PCV7 serotypes.
PMCID: PMC3484024  PMID: 23057516
9.  Nasal Carriage in Vietnamese Children of Streptococcus pneumoniae Resistant to Multiple Antimicrobial Agents 
Resistance to antimicrobial agents in Streptococcus pneumoniae is increasing rapidly in many Asian countries. There is little recent information concerning resistance levels in Vietnam. A prospective study of pneumococcal carriage in 911 urban and rural Vietnamese children, of whom 44% were nasal carriers, was performed. Carriage was more common in children <5 years old than in those ≥5 years old (192 of 389 [49.4%] versus 212 of 522 [40.6%]; P, 0.01). A total of 136 of 399 isolates (34%) had intermediate susceptibility to penicillin (MIC, 0.1 to 1 mg/liter), and 76 of 399 isolates (19%) showed resistance (MIC, >1.0 mg/liter). A total of 54 of 399 isolates (13%) had intermediate susceptibility to ceftriaxone, and 3 of 399 isolates (1%) were resistant. Penicillin resistance was 21.7 (95% confidence interval, 7.0 to 67.6) times more common in urban than in rural children (35 versus 2%; P, <0.001). More than 40% of isolates from urban children were also resistant to erythromycin, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, chloramphenicol, and tetracycline. Penicillin resistance was independently associated with an urban location when the age of the child was controlled for. Multidrug resistance (resistance to three or more antimicrobial agent groups) was present in 32% of isolates overall but in 39% of isolates with intermediate susceptibility to penicillin and 86% of isolates with penicillin resistance. The predominant serotypes of the S. pneumoniae isolates were 19, 23, 14, 6, and 18. Almost half of the penicillin-resistant isolates serotyped were serotype 23, and these isolates were often multidrug resistant. This study suggests that resistance to penicillin and other antimicrobial agents is common in carriage isolates of S. pneumoniae from children in Vietnam.
PMCID: PMC89715  PMID: 10681307
10.  Clonal Evolution Leading to Maintenance of Antibiotic Resistance Rates among Colonizing Pneumococci in the PCV7 Era in Portugal ▿  
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2011;49(8):2810-2817.
The introduction of the seven-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7) in Portugal led to extensive serotype replacement among carriers of pneumococci, with a marked decrease of PCV7 types. Although antimicrobial resistance was traditionally associated with PCV7 types, no significant changes in the rates of nonsusceptibility to penicillin, resistance to macrolides, or multidrug resistance were observed. This study aimed to investigate the mechanisms leading to maintenance of antimicrobial resistance, despite marked serotype replacement. We compared, through molecular typing, 252 antibiotic-resistant pneumococci recovered from young carriers in 2006 and 2007 (era of high PCV7 uptake) with collections of isolates from 2002 and 2003 (n=374; low-PCV7-uptake era) and 1996 to 2001 (n=805; pre-PCV7 era). We observed that the group of clones that has accounted for antimicrobial resistance since 1996 is essentially the same as the one identified in the PCV7 era. The relative proportions of such clones have, however, evolved substantially overtime. Notably, widespread use of PCV7 led to an expansion of two Pneumococcal Molecular Epidemiology Network (PMEN) clones expressing non-PCV7 capsular variants of the original strains: Sweden15AST63 (serotypes 15A and 19A) and Denmark14ST230 (serotypes 19A and 24F). These variants were already in circulation in the pre-PCV7 era, although they have now become increasingly abundant. Emergence of novel clones and de novo acquisition of resistance contributed little to the observed scenario. No evidence of capsular switch events occurring after PCV7 introduction was found. In the era of PCVs, antimicrobial resistance remains a problem among the carried pneumococci. Continuous surveillance is warranted to evaluate serotype and clonal shifts leading to maintenance of antimicrobial resistance.
PMCID: PMC3147772  PMID: 21632898
11.  Streptococcus pneumoniae Carriage in the Gaza Strip 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(4):e35061.
Pneumococcal infections cause major morbidity and mortality in developing countries. We report the epidemiology of S. pneumoniae carriage in a developing region, the Gaza strip, and evaluate the theoretical coverage of carriage strains by pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (PCVs).
In 2009 we conducted a cross-sectional survey of S. pneumoniae carriage in healthy children and their parents, living throughout the Gaza strip. Data were collected and nasopharyngeal swabs were obtained. Antibiotic susceptibilities were determined by Vitek-2 and serotypes by the Quellung reaction.
Principal Findings
S. pneumoniae carriage was detected in 189/379 (50%) of children and 30/376 (8%) of parents. Carriage prevalence was highest in children <6 months of age (63%). Significant predictors for child carriage were number of household members and DCC attendance. The proportion of pediatric and adults isolates with serotypes included in PCV7 were 32% and 20% respectively, and 46% and 33% in PCV13 respectively. The most prominent non-vaccine serotypes (NVT) were 35B, 15B/C and 23B. Penicillin-nonsusceptible strains were carried by70% of carriers, penicillin-resistant strains (PRSP) by 13% and Multi-drug-resistant (MDR) by 30%. Of all PRSP isolates 54% belonged to serotypes included in PCV7 and 71% in the PCV13. Similarly, 59% and 73% of MDR-SP isolates, would theoretically be covered by PCV7 and PCV13, respectively.
This study demonstrates that, PCV13-included strains were carried by 46% and 33% of pediatric and adult subjects respectively. In the absence of definitive data regarding the virulence of the NVT strains, it is difficult to predict the effect of PCVs on IPD in this region.
PMCID: PMC3335158  PMID: 22539955
12.  Continued Impact of Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine on Carriage in Young Children 
Pediatrics  2009;124(1):e1-11.
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).
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.
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.
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.
PMCID: PMC2782668  PMID: 19564254
Streptococcus pneumoniae; pneumococcal conjugate vaccine; antibiotic resistance; serotype; colonization
13.  Microbiological characterization of Streptococcus pneumoniae and non-typeable Haemophilus influenzae isolates as primary causes of acute otitis media in Bulgarian children before the introduction of conjugate vaccines 
Pneumococcal and Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) vaccines were introduced in our national immunisation program in April 2010. The aims of this retrospective, laboratory-based study were to determine the serotypes and antibiotic resistance of Streptococcus pneumoniae and H. influenzae isolates from middle ear fluid (MEF) collected before the introduction of immunization.
S. pneumoniae (n = 128) and H. influenzae (n = 40) strains isolated from MEF of children with AOM between 1994 and 2011 were studied. MICs were determined by a microdilution assay. Serotyping of S. pneumoniae was done by Quellung method and PCR capsular typing was used for H. influenzae. Macrolide resistance genes were detected by PCR for erythromycin resistant S. pneumoniae (ERSP). DNA sequencing of ftsI gene was performed for ampicillin nonsusceptible H. influenzae.
The most common serotypes found among children with pneumococcal AOM were 19 F (20.3%), 6B (15.6%), and 19A (10.9%). The potential coverage rates by the PCV7, PCV10 and PCV13 of children aged < 5 years were 63.6%, 66.4% and 85.5%, respectively. Reduced susceptibility to oral penicillin was seen in 68.1%; resistance to erythromycin was 46.9%. We found erm(B) gene in 56.7% of the ERSP, mef(E) gene in 25%; 15% harbored both genes erm(B) + mef(E) and 3.3% had mutations of L4 ribosomal protein. Of the 40 H. influenzae isolates 97.5% were nontypeable. Nonsusceptibility to ampicillin occurred in 25%. Ampicillin resistance groups were: β-lactamase-positive ampicillin resistant (BLPAR) strains (10%), β-lactamase-negative ampicillin resistant (BLNAR) strains (12.5%) and β-lactamase-positive amoxicillin-clavulanate resistant (BLPACR) strains (2.5%). Among BLNAR and BLPACR most of the isolates (5/6) belonged to group II, defined by the Asn526Lys substitution.
The levels of antibiotic resistance among S. pneumoniae and H. influenzae causing severe AOM in children are high in our settings. The existence of multidrug-resistant S. pneumoniae serotype 19A is of particular concern. The rate of BLNAR and BLPACR strains among H. influenzae isolates was 15%.
PMCID: PMC3622619  PMID: 23531034
AOM; S. pneumoniae; H. influenzae; Serotypes; Antibiotic resistance
14.  Serotype Distribution and Antimicrobial Resistance of Streptococcus pneumoniae Isolates Causing Invasive Diseases from Shenzhen Children’s Hospital 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(6):e67507.
To provide guidance for clinical disease prevention and treatment, this study examined the epidemiology, antibiotic susceptibility, and serotype distribution of Streptococcus pneumoniae (S. pneumoniae) associated with invasive pneumococcal diseases (IPDs) among children less than 14 years of age in Shenzhen, China.
Materials and Methods
All the clinical strains were isolated from children less than 14 years old from January 2009 to August 2012. The serotypes and antibiotic resistance of strains of S. pneumoniae were determined using the capsular swelling method and the E-test.
A total of 89 strains were isolated and 87 isolates were included. The five prevailing serotypes were 19F (28.7%), 14 (16.1%), 23F (11.5%), 19A (9.2%) and 6B (6.9%). The most common sequence types (ST) were ST271 (21.8%), ST876 (18.4%), ST320 (8.0%) and ST81 (6.9%) which were mainly related to 19F, 14, 19A and 23F, respectively. The potential coverage by 7-, 10-, and 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine were 77.0%, 77.0%, and 89.7%, respectively. Among the 87 isolates investigated, 11.5% were resistant to penicillin, and for meningitis isolates, the resistance rate was 100%. Multi-drug resistance (MDR) was exhibited by 49 (56.3%) isolates. Eighty-four isolates were resistance to erythromycin, among which, 56 (66.7%) carried the ermB gene alone and 28 (33.3%) expressed both the ermB and mefA/E genes.
The potential coverage of PCV13 is higher than PCV7 and PCV10 because high rates of serotypes 19A and 6A in Shenzhen. The clinical treatment of IPD needs a higher drug concentration of antibiotics. Continued surveillance of the antimicrobial susceptibility and serotypes distribution of IPD isolates may be necessary.
PMCID: PMC3696094  PMID: 23840728
15.  Pneumococcal Carriage and Antibiotic Resistance in Young Children before 13-Valent Conjugate Vaccine 
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).
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.
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.
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.
PMCID: PMC3288953  PMID: 22173142
Streptococcus pneumoniae; pneumococcal conjugate vaccine; antibiotic resistance; serotype; colonization
16.  Emergence in Vietnam of Streptococcus pneumoniae Resistant to Multiple Antimicrobial Agents as a Result of Dissemination of the Multiresistant Spain23F-1 Clone 
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy  2002;46(11):3512-3517.
Surveillance for Streptococcus pneumoniae resistant to penicillin and other antimicrobial agents is necessary to define the optimal empirical antibiotic therapy for meningitis in resource-poor countries such as Vietnam. The clinical and microbiological features of 100 patients admitted to the Centre for Tropical Diseases in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, between 1993 and 2002 with invasive pneumococcal disease were studied. A penicillin-nonsusceptible pneumococcus (MIC, ≥0.1 μg/ml) was isolated from the blood or cerebrospinal fluid of 8% of patients (2 of 24) between 1993 and 1995 but 56% (20 of 36) during 1999 to 2002 (P < 0.0001). Pneumococcal isolates resistant to penicillin (MIC, ≥2.0 μg/ml) increased from 0% (0 of 24) to 28% (10 of 36) (P = 0.002). Only one isolate was ceftriaxone resistant (MIC, 2.0 μg/ml). Penicillin-nonsusceptible pneumococci were isolated from 78% of children younger than 15 years (28 of 36) compared with 25% of adults (16 of 64) (P = 0.0001). Isolation of a penicillin-nonsusceptible pneumococcus in adults with meningitis was independently associated with referral from another hospital (P = 0.005) and previous antibiotic therapy (P = 0.025). Multilocus sequence typing showed that 86% of the invasive penicillin-resistant pneumococcus isolates tested (12 of 14) were of the Spain23F-1 clone. The serotypes of >95% of the penicillin-nonsusceptible pneumococci were included in the currently available pneumococcal vaccines. Our findings point to the recent introduction and spread of the Spain23F-1 clone of penicillin-resistant pneumococci in Vietnam. Simple clinical predictors can be used to guide empirical antibiotic therapy of meningitis. Pneumococcal vaccination may help to control this problem.
PMCID: PMC128725  PMID: 12384358
17.  Distribution of Serotypes, Vaccine Coverage, and Antimicrobial Susceptibility Pattern of Streptococcus Pneumoniae in Children Living in SAARC Countries: A Systematic Review 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(9):e108617.
Each SAARC nation falls in the zone of high incidence of pneumococcal disease but there is a paucity of literature estimating the burden of pneumococcal disease in this region.
To identify the prevalent serotypes causing invasive pneumococcal disease in children of SAARC countries, to determine the coverage of these serotypes by the available vaccines, and to determine the antibiotic resistance pattern of Streptococcus pneumoniae.
We searched major electronic databases using a comprehensive search strategy, and additionally searched the bibliography of the included studies and retrieved articles till July 2014. Both community and hospital based observational studies which included children aged ≤12 years as/or part of the studied population in SAARC countries were included.
A total of 17 studies were included in the final analysis. The period of surveillance varied from 12–96 months (median, 24 months). The most common serotypes country-wise were as follows: serotype 1 in Nepal; serotype 14 in Bangladesh and India; serotype 19F in Sri Lanka and Pakistan. PCV-10 was found to be suitable for countries like India, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka, whereas PCV-13 may be more suitable for Pakistan. An increasing trend of non-susceptibility to antibiotics was noted for co-trimoxazole, erythromycin and chloramphenicol, whereas an increasing trend of susceptibility was noted for penicillin.
Due to paucity of recent data in majority of the SAARC countries, urgent large size prospective studies are needed to formulate recommendations for specific pneumococcal vaccine introduction and usage of antimicrobial agents in these regions.
PMCID: PMC4182530  PMID: 25268974
18.  Streptococcus pneumoniae serotype 19A in Latin America and the Caribbean: a systematic review and meta-analysis, 1990–2010 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2012;12:124.
Pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (PCVs) are in the process of implementation in Latin America. Experience in developed countries has shown that they reduce the incidence of invasive and non-invasive disease. However, there is evidence that the introduction of PCVs in universal mass vaccination programs, combined with inappropriate and extensive use of antibiotics, could be associated to changes in non-PCV serotypes, including serotype 19A. We conducted a systematic review to determine the distribution of serotype 19A, burden of pneumococcal disease and antibiotic resistance in the region.
We performed a systematic review of serotype 19A data from observational and randomized clinical studies in the region, conducted between 1990 and 2010, for children under 6 years. Pooled prevalence estimates from surveillance activities with confidence intervals were calculated.
We included 100 studies in 22 countries and extracted data from 63. These data reported 19733 serotyped invasive pneumococcal isolates, 3.8% of which were serotype 19A. Serotype 19A isolates were responsible for 2.4% acute otitis media episodes, and accounted for 4.1% and 4.4% of 4,380 nasopharyngeal isolates from healthy children and in hospital-based/sick children, respectively. This serotype was stable over the twenty years of surveillance in the region. A total of 53.7% Spn19A isolates from meningitis cases and only 14% from non meningitis were resistant to penicillin.
Before widespread PCV implementation in this region, serotype 19A was responsible for a relatively small number of pneumococcal disease cases. With increased use of PCVs and a greater number of serotypes included, monitoring S. pneumoniae serotype distribution will be essential for understanding the epidemiology of pneumococcal disease.
PMCID: PMC3475047  PMID: 22639955
Streptococcus pneumoniae serotype 19A; Latin American and the Caribbean; Resistance to penicillin; Conjugate vaccines; Serotype replacement
19.  Streptococcus pneumoniae from Palestinian Nasopharyngeal Carriers: Serotype Distribution and Antimicrobial Resistance 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(12):e82047.
Infections of Streptococcus pneumoniae in children can be prevented by vaccination; left untreated, they cause high morbidity and fatalities. This study aimed at determining the nasopharyngeal carrier rates, serotype distribution and antimicrobial resistance patterns of S. pneumoniae in healthy Palestinian children under age two prior to the full introduction of the pneumococcal 7-valent conjugate vaccine (PCV7), which was originally introduced into Palestine in a pilot trial in September, 2010. In a cross sectional study, nasopharyngeal specimens were collected from 397 healthy children from different Palestinian districts between the beginning of November 2012 to the end of January 2013. Samples were inoculated into blood agar and suspected colonies were examined by amplifying the pneumococcal-specific autolysin gene using a real-time PCR. Serotypes were identified by a PCR that incorporated different sets of specific primers. Antimicrobial susceptibility was measured by disk diffusion and MIC methods. The resulting carrier rate of Streptococcus pneumoniae was 55.7% (221/397). The main serotypes were PCV7 serotypes 19F (12.2%), 23F (9.0%), 6B (8.6%) and 14 (4%) and PCV13 serotypes 6A (13.6%) and 19A (4.1%). Notably, serotype 6A, not included in the pilot trial (PCV7) vaccine, was the most prevalent. Resistance to more than two drugs was observed for bacteria from 34.1% of the children (72/211) while 22.3% (47/211) carried bacteria were susceptible to all tested antibiotics. All the isolates were sensitive to cefotaxime and vancomycin.
Any or all of these might impinge on the type and efficacy of the pneumococcal conjugate vaccines and antibiotics to be used for prevention and treatment of pneumococcal disease in the country.
PMCID: PMC3858295  PMID: 24339987
20.  Prevention of pneumococcal diseases in the post-seven valent vaccine era: A European perspective 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2012;12:207.
The burden of invasive pneumococcal disease in young children decreased dramatically following introduction of the 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7). The epidemiology of S. pneumoniae now reflects infections caused by serotypes not included in PCV7. Recently introduced higher valency pneumococcal vaccines target the residual burden of invasive and non-invasive infections, including those caused by serotypes not included in PCV7. This review is based on presentations made at the European Society of Pediatric Infectious Diseases in June 2011.
Surveillance data show increased circulation of the non-PCV7 vaccine serotypes 1, 3, 6A, 6C, 7 F and 19A in countries with routine vaccination. Preliminary evidence suggests that broadened serotype coverage offered by higher valency vaccines may be having an effect on invasive disease caused by some of those serotypes, including 19A, 7 F and 6C. Aetiology of community acquired pneumonia remains a difficult clinical diagnosis. However, recent reports indicate that pneumococcal vaccination has reduced hospitalisations of children for vaccine serotype pneumonia. Variations in serotype circulation and occurrence of complicated and non-complicated pneumonia caused by non-PCV7 serotypes highlight the potential of higher valency vaccines to decrease the remaining burden. PCVs reduce nasopharyngeal carriage and acute otitis media (AOM) caused by vaccine serotypes. Recent investigations of the interaction between S. pneumoniae and non-typeable H. influenzae suggest that considerable reduction in severe, complicated AOM infections may be achieved by prevention of early pneumococcal carriage and AOM infections. Extension of the vaccine serotype spectrum beyond PCV7 may provide additional benefit in preventing the evolution of AOM. The direct and indirect costs associated with pneumococcal disease are high, thus herd protection and infections caused by non-vaccine serotypes both have strong effects on the cost effectiveness of pneumococcal vaccination. Recent evaluations highlight the public health significance of indirect benefits, prevention of pneumonia and AOM and coverage of non-PCV7 serotypes by higher valency vaccines.
Routine vaccination has greatly reduced the burden of pneumococcal diseases in children. The pneumococcal serotypes present in the 7-valent vaccine have greatly diminished among disease isolates. The prevalence of some non-vaccine serotypes (e.g. 1, 7 F and 19A) has increased. Pneumococcal vaccines with broadened serotype coverage are likely to continue decreasing the burden of invasive disease, and community acquired pneumonia in children. Further reductions in pneumococcal carriage and increased prevention of early AOM infections may prevent the evolution of severe, complicated AOM. Evaluation of the public health benefits of pneumococcal conjugate vaccines should include consideration of non-invasive pneumococcal infections, indirect effects of vaccination and broadened serotype coverage.
PMCID: PMC3462147  PMID: 22954038
Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine; Invasive pneumococcal disease; Community-acquired pneumonia; Acute otitis media; Vaccine serotype coverage; Epidemiology-incidence
21.  Risk Factors for Multidrug-Resistant Invasive Pneumococcal Disease in South Africa, a Setting with High HIV Prevalence, in the Prevaccine Era from 2003 to 2008 
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy  2012;56(10):5088-5095.
The emergence of multidrug-resistant (MDR) Streptococcus pneumoniae complicates disease management. We aimed to determine risk factors associated with MDR invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) in South Africa and evaluate the potential for vaccination to reduce disease burden. IPD data collected by laboratory-based surveillance from 2003 through 2008 were analyzed. Multidrug resistance was defined as nonsusceptibility to any three or more different antibiotic classes. Risk factors for multidrug resistance were evaluated using multivariable logistic regression. Of 20,100 cases of IPD identified, 3,708 (18%) had MDR isolates, with the proportion increasing from 16% (461/2,891) to 20% (648/3,326) (P < 0.001) over the study period. Serotypes included in the 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13) accounted for 94% of MDR strains. Significant risk factors for MDR IPD included PCV13 (1,486/6,407; odds ratio [OR] of 6.3; 95% confidence interval [CI] of 5.0 to 7.9) and pediatric (3,382/9,980; OR of 12.8; 95% CI of 10.6 to 15.4) serotypes, age of <5 (802/3,110; OR of 2.0; 95% CI of 1.8 to 2.3) or ≥65 (39/239; OR of 1.5; 95% CI of 1.0 to 2.2) years versus age of 15 to 64 years, HIV infection (975/4,636; OR of 1.5; 95% CI of 1.2 to 1.8), previous antibiotic use (242/803; OR of 1.7; 95% CI of 1.4 to 2.1), previous hospital admissions (579/2,450; OR of 1.2; 95% CI of 1.03 to 1.4), urban location (883/4,375; OR of 2.0; 95% CI of 1.1 to 3.5), and tuberculosis treatment (246/1,021; OR of 1.2; 95% CI of 1.03 to 1.5). MDR IPD prevalence increased over the study period. The effect of many of the MDR risk factors could be reduced by more judicious use of antibiotics. Because PCV13 serotypes account for most MDR infections, pneumococcal vaccination may reduce the prevalence of multidrug resistance.
PMCID: PMC3457358  PMID: 22802256
22.  Genome-wide dissection of globally emergent multi-drug resistant serotype 19A Streptococcus pneumoniae 
BMC Genomics  2009;10:642.
Emergence of multi-drug resistant (MDR) serotype 19A Streptococcus pneumoniae (SPN) is well-documented but causal factors remain unclear. Canadian SPN isolates (1993-2008, n = 11,083) were serotyped and in vitro susceptibility tested. A subset of MDR 19A were multi-locus sequence typed (MLST) and representative isolates' whole genomes sequenced.
MDR 19A increased in the post-PCV7 era while 19F, 6B, and 23F concurrently declined. MLST of MDR 19A (n = 97) revealed that sequence type (ST) 320 predominated. ST320 was unique amongst MDR 19A in that its minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) values for penicillin, amoxicillin, ceftriaxone, and erythromycin were higher than for other ST present amongst post-PCV7 MDR 19A. DNA sequencing revealed that alleles at key drug resistance loci pbp2a, pbp2x, pbp2b, ermB, mefA/E, and tetM were conserved between pre-PCV7 ST 320 19F and post-PCV7 ST 320 19A most likely due to a capsule switch recombination event. A genome wide comparison of MDR 19A ST320 with MDR 19F ST320 identified 822 unique SNPs in 19A, 61 of which were present in antimicrobial resistance genes and 100 in virulence factors.
Our results suggest a complex genetic picture where high-level drug resistance, vaccine selection pressure, and SPN mutational events have created a "perfect storm" for the emergence of MDR 19A.
PMCID: PMC2807444  PMID: 20042094
23.  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.
PMCID: PMC2519506  PMID: 18524970
24.  Capsular Serotype and Antibiotic Resistance of Streptococcus pneumoniae Isolates in Malaysia 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(5):e19547.
Streptococcus pneumoniae is a major causative agent of severe infections, including sepsis, pneumonia, meningitis, and otitis media, that has since become a major public health concern. In this study, the serotypes distribution of pneumococcal isolates was investigated to predict the efficacy of the 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7) among the Malaysian populations.
Methodology/Principal Findings
A total of 151 clinical isolates were serotyped using multiplex PCR assays. Out of them, there were 21.2% penicillin-resistant, 29.1% penicillin-intermediate, and 49.7% penicillin-susceptible S.pneumoniae strains. Serotypes detected among the Malaysian isolates were 1, 3, 10A, 11A/11D, 12F/12A, 14, 15A, 15B/15C, 16F, 18C/18B/18A/18F, 19A, 19F, 23F, 35B, 35F/47F, 6A/6B, 7C/7B/40, 7F/7A, 9V/9A, and 34. Serotype 19F and 23F were the two most prevalent serotypes detected. Serotypes are highly associated with invasiveness of isolates (p = 0.001) and penicillin susceptibility (p<0.001). Serotype 19F was observed to have increased resistance against penicillin while serotype 19A has high invasive tendency. Age of patients was an important factor underlying the pneumococcal serotypes (p = 0.03) and clinical sites of infections (p<0.001). High prevalence of pneumococcal isolates were detected among children <5 years old at nasopharyngeal sites while elderly adults ≥60 years old were at increased risk for pneumococcal bacteremia.
Current study revealed that a number of serotypes, especially those associated with high penicillin resistance, have been formulated in the PCV7. Therefore, the protections expected from the routine use of PCV7 would be encouraging for the Malaysian. However, it is not possible to predict serotypes that might become predominant in the future and hence continued surveillance of circulating serotypes will be needed.
PMCID: PMC3095606  PMID: 21603602
25.  Penicillin resistance and serotype distribution of Streptococcus pneumoniae in Ghanaian children less than six years of age 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2013;13:490.
The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of nasopharyngeal carriage, serotype distribution, and penicillin resistance of Streptococcus pneumoniae in children ≤6 years of age in Ghana.
A cross-sectional study was carried out on a cluster-randomized sample of children ≤6 years of age attending nurseries and kindergartens in Accra and Tamale, Ghana. Basic data on age, sex and exposure to antimicrobials in the previous month were collected on all study subjects. Nasopharyngeal swabs were obtained from participants and all pneumococcal isolates were characterized by serotyping and their penicillin resistance determined.
The overall prevalence of pneumococcal carriage among the children was 34% in Accra and 31% in Tamale. The predominant serotypes were 19F, 6B, 23F, and 6A with 23% of the isolates being non-typable in Accra and 12% in Tamale. Only two isolates (serotypes 19F and 6B) from Tamale had a MIC >2 μg/ml and were classified as fully penicillin resistant with 45% of the isolates having intermediate resistance.
These findings indicate that the 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV-13) recently introduced in Ghana will cover 48% and 51% of the serotypes identified in Accra and Tamale, respectively. The 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPV-23) will cover 54% of all serotypes detected. The two penicillin resistant isolates (MIC 32 μg/ml) were serotypes included in both PCV-13 and PPV-23. A nationwide monitoring system of penicillin susceptibility patterns and pneumococcal serotypes is recommended.
PMCID: PMC4015758  PMID: 24148091

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