Pneumococcal carriage is more common in asthmatic than in non-asthmatic young men

Clin Respir J. 2010 Oct;4(4):222-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1752-699X.2009.00179.x.


Introduction: The aim was to investigate the prevalence of oropharyngeal carriage of Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, Moraxella catarrhalis, Neisseria meningitidis and beta-haemolytic streptococci among asthmatic and non-asthmatic young Finnish men and to identify putative risk factors.

Objectives: A total of 224 asthmatics and 668 non-asthmatic men (mean age 19.6 years) from two intakes of conscripts to the Kainuu Brigade, Finland in July 2004 and January 2005 were enrolled upon entering military service.

Methods: Oropharyngeal specimens were examined for bacteria by routine culture methods. All the participants filled in questionnaires concerning risk factors for asthma and respiratory infections.

Results: S. pneumoniae (48 cases, 5.4%), Group A streptococci (16, 1.8%), H. influenzae (45, 5.0%), M. catarrhalis (24, 2.7%) and N. meningitidis (20, 2.2%) were isolated from the 892 participants. Ten putative risk factors for oropharyngeal colonization (asthma, atopy, allergic rhinitis, smoking, current use of asthma medication, history of adeno/tonsillectomy, level of highly sensitive C-reactive protein, peak expiratory flow, results of a 12-min running test and body mass index) were evaluated. The only significant risk factor for S. pneumoniae carriage was asthma (OR, 2.04; 95% CI 1.12 to 3.72).

Conclusions: Pneumococcal carriage is more common in asthmatic than in non-asthmatic young men.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Asthma / epidemiology*
  • Carrier State / epidemiology*
  • Finland / epidemiology
  • Haemophilus Infections / epidemiology
  • Haemophilus influenzae / isolation & purification
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Meningococcal Infections / epidemiology
  • Military Personnel / statistics & numerical data
  • Moraxella catarrhalis / isolation & purification
  • Moraxellaceae Infections / epidemiology
  • Neisseria meningitidis / isolation & purification
  • Oropharynx / microbiology*
  • Pneumococcal Infections / epidemiology*
  • Prevalence
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / epidemiology
  • Risk Factors
  • Streptococcal Infections / epidemiology
  • Streptococcus / isolation & purification
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae / isolation & purification*
  • Young Adult