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Commun Dis Intell Q Rep. 2006;30(1):80-92.

Invasive pneumococcal disease in Australia, 2004.

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Office of Health Protection, Department of Health and Ageing, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory.


There were 2,375 cases of invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) notified to the National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System in Australia in 2004; a notification rate of 11.8 cases per 100,000 population. The rate varied between states and territories and by geographical region with the highest rates in the Northern Territory. Invasive pneumococcal disease was reported most frequently in children aged less than 5 years (55.4 cases per 100,000 population). Enhanced surveillance for IPD was carried out in all states and territories, in 2004, providing additional data on 2,023 (85%) cases. The overall rate of IPD in Indigenous Australians was 3.2 times the rate in non-Indigenous Australians. There were 154 deaths attributed to IPD resulting in an overall case fatality rate of 7.6 per cent. Rates of IPD in the Indigenous and non-Indigenous under 2-year-old population were similar in 2004 (91.5 and 93.6 cases per 100,000 population, respectively) following a targeted introduction of the 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (7vPCV) in mid-2001 for Indigenous infants and children. Serotypes of isolates were identified from 80 per cent of all notified cases, with 72 per cent of isolates belonging to serotypes represented in the 7vPCV and 91 per cent in the 23-valent polysaccharide pneumococcal vaccine (23vPPV). Comparison of serotypes in the 7vPCV target population showed that the rate of IPD due to 7vPCV serotypes decreased by 74 per cent between 2001-02 and 2003-04. Of 216 isolates with reduced penicillin susceptibility, 83 per cent belonged to pneumococcal serotypes in the 7vPCV and 95 per cent in the 23vPPV.

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