Invasive bacterial infections in a paediatric emergency department in the era of the heptavalent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine

Eur J Emerg Med. 2012 Apr;19(2):89-94. doi: 10.1097/MEJ.0b013e3283484bbc.


Objective: To describe the characteristics of patients diagnosed with invasive bacterial infections (IBIs) in a Paediatric Emergency Department (PED) following the introduction of the heptavalent pneumococcal conjugated vaccine (PCV7).

Methods: Descriptive retrospective study of children under 14 years of age diagnosed with IBIs in a PED of a tertiary hospital between January 2008 and December 2009.

Results: In this period we registered 123 396 episodes and 59 patients who were diagnosed with IBIs (22 patients under 1 year of age, 37.2%). Of these, 11 (18.6%) had some severe underlying condition and 38 (64.4%) were stable on arrival. The most common diagnoses were sepsis with/without meningitis (23, 38.9%) and bacteraemia (14, 23.7%), while the pathogens most frequently isolated were Streptococcus pneumoniae (23, 38.9%) and Neisseria meningitidis (18, 30.5%). Pathogens were isolated from blood in 57 patients and from the cerebrospinal fluid in eight (in these, the same bacterial species was isolated in the blood, except for two cases with S. pneumoniae). Of the pneumococci isolated, 80% corresponded to serotypes included in the 13-valent PCV13. In seven cases, pathogens were detected using only PCR analysis (N. meningitidis, four; S. pneumoniae, three). Twenty-five patients were admitted to the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit. No patient died but two had sequelae.

Conclusion: In the era of PCV7, pneumococcus is the leading cause of IBI in PED. The introduction of PCV13 may lead to a very significant decrease in the IBI rate and meningococcus may become the leading cause of IBI.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Distribution
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Bacteremia / epidemiology*
  • Bacteremia / microbiology
  • Bacteremia / prevention & control
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Emergency Service, Hospital*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Heptavalent Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine
  • Hospitals, Teaching
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Pneumococcal Infections / epidemiology*
  • Pneumococcal Infections / prevention & control
  • Pneumococcal Vaccines / administration & dosage*
  • Risk Assessment
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sex Distribution
  • Spain / epidemiology
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vaccination / statistics & numerical data


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Heptavalent Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine
  • Pneumococcal Vaccines