Send to

Choose Destination
Clin Microbiol Infect. 2010 May;16(5):402-10. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-0691.2010.03182.x. Epub 2010 Feb 2.

Changes in antimicrobial resistance, serotypes and genotypes in Streptococcus pneumoniae over a 30-year period.

Author information

Hospital Universitari de Bellvitge and Universitat de Barcelona-IDIBELL, L'Hospitalet de Llobregat, Barcelona, Spain. <>


Over the past three decades, antimicrobial resistance in Streptococcus pneumoniae has dramatically increased worldwide. Non-susceptibility to penicillin in S. pneumoniae was first described in Australia in 1967, and later in New Guinea (1974), South Africa (1977), and Spain (1979). Most of these strains showed resistance to multiple antibiotics and belonged to serotypes 6A, 6B, 19A, 19F, and 23F. By the late 1980s and 1990s, the emergence and rapid dissemination of antibiotic-resistant pneumococci was observed in southern and eastern Europe, North America, South America, Africa, and Asia. Great geographical variability, both in serotype distribution and in the prevalence of resistant pneumococci, has been reported. However, the highest rates of resistance to penicillin and erythromycin worldwide were found in serotypes 6B, 6A, 9V, 14, 15A, 19F, 19A, and 23F. The introduction of the seven-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7) in the 2000s and a reduction in antimicrobial use were associated with a significant decline in the incidence of invasive pneumococcal infections and in rates of antibiotic resistance in the USA. However, an increase in the incidence of infections caused by non-PCV7 serotypes, especially multiresistant serotype 19A pneumococci, has been observed in many countries over the last 5 years. The dynamic character of serotypes and antibiotic resistance in S. pneumoniae should be controlled by a policy of prudent antibiotic use and by implementation of the new generation of conjugate vaccines.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center