Dynamics of pneumococcal carriage among healthy Icelandic children attending day-care centres

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Invasive pneumococcal disease and antimicrobial (AM) resistance in pneumococci are important public health concerns. With the advent of new pneumococcal vaccines, information on serotype prevalence and their temporal fluctuations is important. Information on AM use and consent for participation was obtained by a questionnaire to parents of children at 5 day-care centres in Reykjavik from 1992 to 1999, and nasopharyngeal swabs were cultured selectively for pneumococci. The pneumococci were serotyped and pulsed field gel electrophoresis used to determine clonality. Of 1228 nasopharyngeal swabs, 640 (52.1%) yielded pneumococci of which 89 (13.9%) had decreased susceptibility to penicillin and 1 was resistant. Children receiving AMs during the month preceding nasopharyngeal sampling and children attending a day-care centre where AM use was high were significantly more likely to carry penicillin non-susceptible isolates. Serotypes 6A, 6B and 23F were most common (48%), and 74% of serotyped isolates belonged to 1 of the 7 most common serotypes. Almost all penicillin non-susceptible isolates were of serotype 6B or 19A. Serotype prevalence fluctuated markedly between y. In conclusion, there was significant variation in serotype prevalence between y, and only 51% of the pneumococci belonged to serotypes covered by the current 7-valent conjugated vaccine.

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