After the introduction of 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13) against Streptococcus pneumoniae, public health officials in Taiwan monitored a decline in circulating vaccine serotypes and the emergence of nonvaccine serotypes in children with invasive pneumococcal disease. A gradually expanded PCV13 national immunization program was launched in 2013 in Taiwan. Here, we evaluate the changes in the distribution of pneumococcal serotypes and antimicrobial nonsusceptibility in children during the evolution of vaccination policy.Methods:
S. pneumoniae isolates from children with pneumococcal disease were collected and serotyped from 2010 to 2015 in northern Taiwan. PCVs were administered at the recipients’ expense between 2010 and 2012, and then PCV13 was partially reimbursed by the government beginning in 2013. The distribution and diversity of serotypes were analyzed along with their antimicrobial susceptibilities.Results:
Among a total of 498 isolates, the proportion of invasive pneumococcal disease isolates declined (47.1%–10.6%) during the study period, and serotype diversity increased after 2011. Between 2010 and 2012, the dominant serotypes were 19A, 19F, 3, 6B and 14, and serotype 19A rose from 44.1% to 57.5%. Serotypes 19A, 15A, 19F and 15B were more prevalent from 2013 to 2015, and serotype 19A decreased from 42.1% to 4.5%. Serotypes 19F and 15A became the most commonly detected serotypes in 2015. Overall, PCV13 additional serotypes were reduced by 80% (P < 0.0001) but nonvaccine serotypes increased from 8.8% to 51.5% (P < 0.0001).Conclusions:
The step-by-step PCV13 national immunization program is effective against pneumococcal disease in Taiwanese children, mainly by reducing PCV13 additional serotypes.