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An observational study to examine Streptococcus pneumoniae carriage in Norwegian children was initiated after two cases of pneumococcal meningitis, caused by the England14-9 clone, occurred in one day-care centre in Oslo. All children recruited from the day-care centre where the cases occurred were vaccinated with a seven-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine; the other participants who attended three other day-care centres nearby were not. The children were followed for 9 months, and three samplings took place. At the first visit, 45.7% of the children were colonised by pneumococci in the nasopharynx. The children harboured a variety of serotypes, with serotypes 6A, 23F, 6B and 19F being the most frequent. The numbers of children carrying vaccine serotypes decreased in both the vaccinated and the non-vaccinated groups. Thus, no significant effect of vaccine on carriage was detected in this relatively small study.