Most children are believed to acquire Streptococcus pneumoniae asymptomatically, with only a few developing overt S. pneumoniae disease. This study investigates the relationship between acquisition of S. pneumoniae and mild nonspecific infection leading to general practitioner (GP) consultation.Methods:
A prospective birth cohort study of 213 infants assessed at home 9 times during 24 weeks by nasopharyngeal swab and parental interview was conducted.Results:
All positive S. pneumoniae swabs (including acquisition and carriage) were significantly associated with GP consultations for infection by the study infant compared with infants with negative swabs [odds ratio (OR), 1.6; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.1–2.2; P = 0.005]. There was a stronger association with S. pneumoniae acquisition alone (OR 2.1; 95% CI 1.3–3.4; P = 0.001) than with carriage only (OR 1.4; 95% CI 0.9–2.0; P = 0.1). Multivariate analysis confirmed that S. pneumoniae acquisition by the study subject was independently associated with GP consultations: adjusted hazard ratio, 1.8 (95% CI 1.1–2.9); P = 0.02. A similar and independent association was found between S. pneumoniae acquisition by the study subject, and GP consultations for infection by the family (adjusted hazard ratio, 1.8; 95% CI 1.1–2.8; P = 0.01).Conclusion:
Acquisition of S. pneumoniae by the study infant was significantly associated with GP consultations for infection by the infant or family.