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Invasiveness potential of pneumococcal serotypes in children after introduction of PCV13 in Blantyre, Malawi

Kirolos, Amir, Swarthout, Todd D., Mataya, Andrew A., Bonomali, Farouck, Brown, Comfort, Msefula, Jacquline, Bar-Zeev, Naor, Iroh Tam, Pui-Ying ORCID:, Alaerts, Maaike, Bilima, Sithembile, Heyderman, Robert S. and French, Neil (2023) 'Invasiveness potential of pneumococcal serotypes in children after introduction of PCV13 in Blantyre, Malawi'. BMC Infectious Diseases, Vol 23, Issue 1, e56.

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Introduction: The introduction of PCV13 to the Malawi infant immunization schedule in 2011 has been associated with reduced disease from Streptococcus pneumoniae. Improved understanding of serotypes with high invasive potential can guide future vaccination interventions. We aimed to estimate pneumococcal serotypes associated with acute respiratory infection (ARI) and invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) in hospitalized children in Blantyre, Malawi.

Methods: We analysed data from healthy children under 5 years in the community in Blantyre and children admitted to Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital with ARI between 2015 and 2018. Nasopharyngeal swabs from children were tested for S. pneumoniae and serotyped by latex agglutination if positive. We analysed culture-positive blood and cerebrospinal fluid samples from admitted children between 2012 and 2018 to identify cases of IPD after the introduction of PCV13. We calculated the age-adjusted odds ratio (OR) of carriage for S. pneumoniae vaccine serotypes (VT) comparing those with ARI to healthy children. We also calculated age-adjusted ORs comparing serotypes causing IPD to carriage in the community with OR > 1 indicating high invasive potential.

Results: Serotypes 5 (OR 24.73 [95% CI 7.90–78.56] p < 0.001), 1 (OR 23.38 [95% CI 9.75–56.06] p < 0.001), and 6B (OR 4.73 [95% CI 1.66–11.64] p = 0.001) had high invasive potential. Serotype 6B was no longer significant (OR 1.34 [95% CI 0.07–6.87] p = 0.777) in a sensitivity analysis accounting for year of recruitment. The prevalence of S. pneumoniae carriage in the community was 72.6% [95% CI 71.3–74.0] (3078/4238) and 23.4% (719/3078) of positive community samples were VT. The carriage prevalence in those hospitalised with ARI was 45.5% [95% CI 42.1–48.9] (389/855) and 43.8% of hospital attendees reported antibiotic use prior to admission. We did not identify significant associations with carriage of any serotypes in those with ARI.

Conclusions: Pneumococcal serotypes 5 and 1 are associated with high invasive potential. Despite high community pneumococcal carriage, pre-hospital antibiotic usage likely reduces pneumococcal detection among children admitted in this setting and further research is needed to investigate serotypes associated with ARI. Data from this study can guide future preventative vaccination strategies in Malawi.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: WA Public Health > Preventive Medicine > WA 115 Immunization
WA Public Health > WA 20.5 Research (General)
WC Communicable Diseases > Infection. Bacterial Infections > Bacterial Infections > WC 210 Streptococcal infections (General or not elsewhere classified)
WC Communicable Diseases > Infection. Bacterial Infections > Bacterial Infections > WC 217 Pneumococcal infections
WS Pediatrics > WS 20 Research (General)
Faculty: Department: Clinical Sciences & International Health > Clinical Sciences Department
Digital Object Identifer (DOI):
SWORD Depositor: JISC Pubrouter
Depositing User: JISC Pubrouter
Date Deposited: 02 Feb 2023 12:08
Last Modified: 02 Feb 2023 12:08


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