Background: Streptococcus pneumoniae is a major cause of bacterial infections resulting in significant morbidity and mortality worldwide. Currently, up to 13 serotypes are included in pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (PCVs). However, the serotype formulation of these vaccines was initially designed to protect children against serotypes most commonly causing invasive disease in North America, and may not reflect the serotype distribution across the world. Data regarding pneumococcal epidemiology from the other parts of the world, in particular South East Asia, has not been reviewed.
Methods: This systematic literature review analyses published serotype data regarding S. pneumoniae isolates from South East Asian countries (defined as countries belonging to the Association of South East Asian Nations, ASEAN): Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam up to 3rd of March 2012.
Results: Analysis of data from six ASEAN countries, from which information on pneumococcal serotypes was available, showed that the most common disease causing serotypes (in rank order) were 19F, 23F, 14, 6B, 1, 19A and 3. Serotype distribution of pneumococcal isolates was similar across the ASEAN region. Serotype level data was more commonly reported for pneumococcal isolates causing invasive pneumococcal disease than for those from non-invasive disease. Studies from Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore contributed the largest proportion of pneumococcal isolates, and serotype data, when compared to other ASEAN countries.
Conclusion: This review demonstrates that the majority of IPD causing serotypes in SE Asia are included in currently licensed PCVs. However, PCV's are included in the routine childhood immunisation schedule of only one of the ten countries included in this analysis. Our findings demonstrate the scarcity of information available on serotype prevalence and distribution of pneumococci in SE Asia.
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