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Microb Drug Resist. 2005 Winter;11(4):309-22.

Natural history of drug-resistant clones of Streptococcus pneumoniae colonizing healthy children in Portugal.

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Instituto de Tecnologia Química e Biológica da Universidade Nova de Lisboa (ITQB/UNL), 2780-156 Oeiras, Portugal.


A total of 3,539 Streptococcus pneumoniae (Pn) were recovered from 4,969 nasopharyngeal samples of children attending 13 day-care centers (DCCs) located in Lisbon, Portugal, during a surveillance study from January, 2001, through March, 2003, integrated in the European intervention project (EURIS, European Resistance Intervention Study). All Pn isolates were tested for anti-biotyping and drug-resistant pneumococci (DRPn) were further tested by serotyping and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). Overall carriage of Pn was very high (71.2%) and 39.9% of the isolates were resistant to antimicrobials (22.5% with decreased susceptibility to penicillin and 17.4% susceptible to penicillin and resistant to other antimicrobials). Serotypes 6B, 14, 23 F, 19F, and 19 A were prevalent among the 1,287 DRPn and 5.8% of the isolates were non-typeable. Eighty PFGE patterns were identified among 1,285 DRPn, and 93.1% of the DRPn belonged to 26 major clonal types that comprised: Pneumococcal Molecular Epidemiology Network (PMEN) clones (76.3%), Portuguese (PT)-DCC clones, previously detected in 1996-1999 (14.3%), and EURIS PT-DCC new clones, identified for the first time in the EURIS study, during 2001-2003 (9.4%). Comparing with previous Portuguese surveillance studies carried out since 1996, we observed that carriage increased from 47% to 71%, but no major changes were detected on the prevalence of pneumococcal serotypes. Moreover, although PMEN clones were predominant in all DCCs, in the present study the majority of them were gradually decreasing in time whereas several PT-DCC and new clones seemed to be increasing.

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