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Vaccine. 2011 Nov 8;29(48):8882-7. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2011.09.074. Epub 2011 Sep 28.

Dynamics of Streptococcus pneumoniae nasopharyngeal carriage with high heptavalent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine coverage in Central Greece.

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Department of Pediatrics, University of Thessaly, School of Medicine, General University Hospital of Larissa, Biopolis, 411 10 Larissa, Greece.


In order to study whether the use of the heptavalent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7) led to a shift in the Streptococcus pneumoniae serotypes distribution and whether it modified the resistance to antibiotics, 2649 nasopharyngeal samples were obtained between 2005 and 2009, from children attending day-care centers in Central Greece. The percentage of attendees vaccinated with ≥1 dose of PCV7 increased from 12.9% (2005) to 95.5% (2009). Non-PCV7 serotypes replaced those belonging to PCV7. In 2009, 19F was virtually the only PCV7 serotype that continued to circulate. A significant increase in the frequency of penicillin-intermediate (oral penicillin V breakpoints) isolates coincided with a marked reduction in isolates with high resistance to penicillin. Several non-PCV7 serotypes colonized the children, but their frequency varied substantially from year to year. Each one of 14 specific non-PCV7 serotypes, i.e. 6A, 11A, 15B, 23A, 10A, 16F, 38, 22F, 15C, 19A, 35F, 24F, 6C, and 7F, accounted for ≥2% of pneumococcal isolates in at least 2 annual surveillances. An increase in non-PCV7 serotypes with antibiotic resistance, beyond 6A and 19A, occurred. Intermediate resistance to penicillin was observed in serotype 23B, 15B, 15C, 15A, 35F, 6C, and 24F pneumococci. Their exact role in invasive and non-invasive disease remains to be seen in the years ahead.

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