Clonally Related Penicillin-NonsusceptibleStreptococcus pneumoniaeSerotype 14 from Cases of Meningitis in Salvador, Brazil

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Active hospital-based surveillance in the city of Salvador, Brazil, from December 1995 through October 1998, identified 221 patients with confirmed pneumococcal meningitis. Of these 221 patients, 29 (13%) had isolates with intermediate-level resistance to penicillin. Infection with these penicillin-nonsusceptible isolates was significantly associated with age of <2 years (P< .0019), previous antibiotic use (P< .0006), and coresistance to trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (P< .0000). Serotype 14 was the most prevalent serotype (55.2%) of penicillin-nonsusceptible isolates. Strain typing by repetitive element BOX polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis showed that penicillin-nonsusceptible serotype 14 isolates had closely related BOX PCR patterns, whereas penicillin-susceptible serotype 14 isolates each had distinct, unrelated patterns. Penicillin-nonsusceptible serotype 14 isolates from Salvador and other Brazilian cities had similar BOX PCR patterns. These observations indicate that in Brazil a large proportion of cases of penicillin-nonsusceptible pneumococcal meningitis appear to be caused by a closely related group of serotype 14 strains that may have disseminated to widely separate geographic areas.

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