Clonal relationships between invasive and carriage Streptococcus pneumoniae and serotype- and clone-specific differences in invasive disease potential

J Infect Dis. 2003 May 1;187(9):1424-32. doi: 10.1086/374624. Epub 2003 Apr 4.


By use of multilocus sequence typing, Streptococcus pneumoniae isolates causing invasive disease (n=150) were compared with those from nasopharyngeal carriage (n=351) among children in Oxford. The prevalence of individual clones (sequence types) and serotypes among isolates from invasive disease was related to their prevalence in carriage, and an odds ratio (OR) for invasive disease was calculated for the major clones and serotypes. All major carried clones and serotypes caused invasive disease, although their ability to do so varied greatly. Thus, 2 serotype 14 clones were approximately 10-fold overrepresented among disease isolates, compared with carriage isolates, whereas a serotype 3 clone was approximately 10-fold underrepresented. The lack of heterogeneity between the ORs of different clones of the same serotype, and analysis of isolates of the same genotype, but different serotype, suggested that capsular serotype may be more important than genotype in the ability of pneumococci to cause invasive disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Carrier State / microbiology*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Clone Cells / cytology*
  • Clone Cells / metabolism
  • Female
  • Genetic Variation
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nasopharynx / microbiology
  • Odds Ratio
  • Phylogeny
  • Pneumococcal Infections / microbiology*
  • Serotyping
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae / cytology*
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae / genetics
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae / isolation & purification
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae / pathogenicity*