Distribution of serotypes and patterns of antimicrobial resistance among commensal Streptococcus pneumoniae in nine European countries

Rachid Y. Yahiaoui*, Hester J. Bootsma, Casper D. J. den Heijer, Gerlinde N. Pluister, W. John Paget, Peter Spreeuwenberg, Krzysztof Trzcinski, Ellen E. Stobberingh

*Corresponding author for this work

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Background: Streptococcus pneumoniae is a commensal of the human upper respiratory tract and a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. This paper presents the distribution of serotypes and antimicrobial resistance in commensal S. pneumoniae strains cultured from healthy carriers older than four years of age in nine European countries. Methods: Nasal swabs from healthy persons (age between 4 and 107 years old) were obtained by general practitioners from each country from November 2010 to August 2011. Swabs were cultured for S. pneumoniae using a standardized protocol. Antibiotic resistance was determined for isolated S. pneumoniae by broth microdilution. Capsular sequencing typing was used to identify serotypes, followed by serotype-specific PCR assays in case of ambiguous results. Results: Thirty-two thousand one hundred sixty-one nasal swabs were collected from which 937 S. pneumoniae were isolated. A large variation in serotype distribution and antimicrobial resistant serotypes across the participating countries was observed. Pneumococcal vaccination was associated with a higher risk of pneumococcal colonization and antimicrobial resistance independently of country and vaccine used, either conjugate vaccine or PPV 23). Conclusions: Serotype 11A was the most common in carriage followed by serotypes 23A and 19A. The serotypes showing the highest resistance to penicillin were 14 followed by 19A. Serotype 15A showed the highest proportion of multidrug resistance.
Original languageEnglish
Article number440
Number of pages10
JournalBMC Infectious Diseases
Publication statusPublished - 29 Aug 2018


  • Streptococcus pneumoniae
  • Vaccination
  • Carriage
  • 7-VALENT

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