Multiplex PCR to determine Streptococcus pneumoniae serotypes causing otitis media in the Republic of Ireland with further characterisation of antimicrobial susceptibilities and genotypes

Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis. 2011 Mar;30(3):447-53. doi: 10.1007/s10096-010-1108-7. Epub 2010 Nov 13.


The purpose of this study was to determine the serotypes, genotypes and antimicrobial susceptibilities of Streptococcus pneumoniae causing otitis media (OM) in children in Dublin, Ireland. S. pneumoniae isolates (n = 28) from spontaneously discharging OM were studied. Serotyping was performed using a previously undescribed multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR) scheme in combination with serological methods. Multilocus sequence typing (MLST) was performed using standard procedures. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing was performed using the Etest method. Fourteen different S. pneumoniae serotypes were identified. The five most common serotypes were 3, 19F, 19A, 14 and 6A, which accounted for 68% of all infections. The 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7), 10-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PHiD-CV) and 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13) provided potential coverages of 43%, 46% and 86%, respectively. Reduced susceptibility to penicillin was evident for 25% of isolates and was associated with serotypes 14, 19A, 19F and 9V. A total of 21 different sequence types (STs) were identified. Pneumococcal Molecular Epidemiology Network (PMEN) clones or their variants represented 54% (15/28) of all isolates. Continued monitoring and characterisation of S. pneumoniae causing OM in Ireland is warranted in order to guide future vaccine and treatment policies.

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Ireland
  • Male
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Multilocus Sequence Typing
  • Otitis Media / diagnosis
  • Otitis Media / microbiology*
  • Pneumococcal Infections / microbiology*
  • Pneumococcal Vaccines / immunology
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Serotyping
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae / classification*
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae / drug effects
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae / genetics


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Pneumococcal Vaccines