Background: Seven valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7) was licensed and introduced in 2000 for universal administration of children younger than 2 years of age and for selective immunization of children 2-5 years of age.
Specific aims: To identify changes in colonization and antimicrobial susceptibility among Streptococcus pneumoniae organisms after introduction of PCV7.
Methods: Infants and children ages 2-24 months were enrolled in surveillance study of nasopharyngeal carriage of S. pneumoniae. Nasopharyngeal cultures for S. pneumoniae were performed at all well child visits and illness visits of children with acute otitis media. S. pneumoniae organisms were serotyped, and antimicrobial susceptibilities to penicillin, amoxicillin, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole and azithromycin were performed.
Results: During the 3-year period (October 2000 through September 2003), nasopharyngeal colonization with vaccine serotypes declined from 22% to 2%, and nonvaccine serotypes increased from 7% to 16%. Rates of antibiotic resistance of S. pneumoniae isolates to penicillin, amoxicillin, azithromycin and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole were 29.3, 2.2, 26.5 and 28.1%, respectively.
Conclusions: PCV7 immunization produces a marked decline in vaccine serotypes carried in the nasopharynx of young children, with a coincident rise in the prevalence of nonvaccine serotypes. Important shifts in antimicrobial susceptibility have not been observed to date.