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Clin Microbiol Infect. 2009 Nov;15(11):1002-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-0691.2009.02775.x. Epub 2009 Apr 23.

Changes in pneumococcal serotypes and antibiotypes carried by vaccinated and unvaccinated day-care centre attendees in Portugal, a country with widespread use of the seven-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine.

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Instituto de Tecnologia Química e Biológica, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Oeiras, Portugal.


The seven-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7) has been available in Portugal since June 2001, but is not included in the National Vaccination Plan. Its impact on colonization is unknown. A point-prevalence study to evaluate PCV7 usage was carried out in 2006 among day-care centre attendees from the Lisbon area. Pneumococcal carriage rates, serotypes, and antibiotypes were determined and compared with results from a similar study conducted in 2001 before vaccine approval. In 2001 and 2006, 717 and 571 children, respectively, were enrolled. In 2006, 45.9% of the participants were appropriately vaccinated and 11.5% were incompletely vaccinated. Carriage of pneumococci remained stable (64.9% in 2001; 68.7% in 2006). Vaccine types (VT) decreased from 53.1% of all pneumococci to 11.2% (p <0.001). Serotype replacement was observed among vaccinated and unvaccinated children. Non-vaccine types (NVT) 1, 6C, 7F, 15A, 16F, 21, 23A, 29, and non-typeable (NT) strains increased significantly; serotype 19A increased, but not significantly. Rates of resistance to penicillin, erythromycin, clindamycin and tetracycline remained stable (p >0.05) due to significant increases in intermediate resistance to penicillin (from 5.5% to 17.8%), erythromycin (from 9.2% to 21.8%), clindamycin (from 6.4% to 19.3%) and tetracycline (from 8.3% to 15.8%) among NVT. Whereas in 2001 resistance among NVT was mostly associated with serotype 19A and NT strains, in 2006 resistance was also found among serotypes 6C, 15A, 24F and 33F. In conclusion, dramatic shifts in serotypes of colonizing pneumococci were observed among vaccinated and unvaccinated children. Rates of antibiotic resistance remained unchanged due to a balance between reduction in VT and an increase in antimicrobial-resistant NVT.

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