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Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis. 2011 Jan;30(1):7-19. doi: 10.1007/s10096-010-1044-6. Epub 2010 Aug 30.

Epidemiology of Streptococcus pneumoniae and Staphylococcus aureus colonization in healthy Venezuelan children.

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Department of Microbiology and Parasitology, Los Andes University, Mérida, Venezuela.


Streptococcus pneumoniae and Staphylococcus aureus cause significant morbidity and mortality worldwide. We investigated both the colonization and co-colonization characteristics for these pathogens among 250 healthy children from 2 to 5 years of age in Merida, Venezuela, in 2007. The prevalence of S. pneumoniae colonization, S. aureus colonization, and S. pneumoniae-S. aureus co-colonization was 28%, 56%, and 16%, respectively. Pneumococcal serotypes 6B (14%), 19F (12%), 23F (12%), 15 (9%), 6A (8%), 11 (8%), 23A (6%), and 34 (6%) were the most prevalent. Non-respiratory atopy was a risk factor for S. aureus colonization (p = 0.017). Vaccine serotypes were negatively associated with preceding respiratory infection (p = 0.02) and with S. aureus colonization (p = 0.03). We observed a high prevalence of pneumococcal resistance against trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (40%), erythromycin (38%), and penicillin (14%). Semi-quantitative measurement of pneumococcal colonization density showed that children with young siblings and low socioeconomic status were more densely colonized (p = 0.02 and p = 0.02, respectively). In contrast, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole- and multidrug-resistant-pneumococci colonized children sparsely (p = 0.03 and p = 0.01, respectively). Our data form an important basis to monitor the future impact of pneumococcal vaccination on bacterial colonization, as well as to recommend a rationalized and restrictive antimicrobial use in our community.

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