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Trop Med Int Health. 2013 Mar;18(3):286-95. doi: 10.1111/tmi.12057. Epub 2013 Jan 16.

Dynamics of nasopharyngeal bacterial colonisation in HIV-exposed young infants in Tanzania.

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Department of Pediatrics, Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre, Moshi, Tanzania.



To estimate the prevalence of nasopharyngeal bacterial colonisation (NPBC) patterns in young Tanzanian HIV-exposed infants and to analyse the influence of maternal NPBC and of the infant's HIV status on the NPBC pattern.


Longitudinal cohort study of neonates born to HIV-infected mothers visiting Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre, Tanzania, between 2005 and 2009. Demographic and clinical data and nasopharyngeal bacterial cultures were obtained at the age of 6 weeks, 3 and 6 months, and at one time point, a paired mother-infant nasopharyngeal swab was taken.


Four hundred and twenty-two swabs were taken from 338 eligible infants. At 6 weeks of age, colonisation rates were 66% for Staphylococcus aureus, 56% for Streptococcus pneumoniae, 50% for Moraxella catarrhalis and 14% for Haemophilus influenzae. Colonisation with S. aureus diminished over time and was more common in HIV-infected infants. S. pneumoniae and H. influenzae colonisation rose over time and was more prevalent in HIV-uninfected children. Co-colonisation of S. pneumoniae with H. influenzae or M. catarrhalis was mostly noticed in HIV-infected infants. S. pneumoniae and M.catarrhalis colonisation of the mother was a risk factor for colonisation in HIV-uninfected infants, while maternal S. aureus colonisation was a risk factor for colonisation in HIV-infected infants. Among the 104 S. pneumoniae isolates, 19F was most prevalent, and 57 (55%) displayed capsular serotypes represented in the 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine.


NPBC was common in Tanzanian HIV-exposed infants. The significant prevalence of pneumococcal vaccine serotypes colonising this paediatric population justifies the use of the 13-valent pneumococcal vaccine to reduce the burden of pneumococcal invasive disease.

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