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Lancet. 2001 Mar 24;357(9260):950-2.

Geographical differences in invasive pneumococcal disease rates and serotype frequency in young children.

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Wyeth-Lederle Vaccines, West Henrietta, NY 14586, USA.


The development of glycoconjugate vaccines for Streptococcus pneumoniae that are effective in very young children has renewed interest in identification of which among the more than 90 pneumococcal serotypes are most likely to cause invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD). Serotype distribution is thought to vary geographically, even between regions as socioeconomically similar as western Europe and North America. To explain these variations, we note the considerable variation that exists between reported rates of IPD in young children in the USA and west European countries. We postulate that this variation is attributable to different blood-culture rates and practices, and that mild IPD is probably underdiagnosed and under-reported in western Europe. On the basis of a comparison of serotype distributions between the two regions, we also postulate that those serotypes found at similar frequencies in both regions are virulent and rarely cause mild disease. As a result, reported distributions of IPD serotypes, especially when expressed as percentages, might be strongly skewed by the distribution of clinical presentations in a particular study population.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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