Background: Community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) is a serious cause of morbidity among children in developed countries. The real impact of 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7) on pneumococcal pneumonia is difficult to assess accurately.
Methods: Children aged ≤16 years with clinical and radiological pneumonia were enrolled in a multicenter prospective study. Children aged ≤16 years admitted for a minor elective surgery was recruited as controls. Nasopharyngeal samples for PCR serotyping of S. pneumoniae were obtained in both groups. Informations on age, gender, PCV7 vaccination status, day care/school attendance, siblings, tobacco exposure were collected.
Results: In children with CAP (n=236), 54% of the nasopharyngeal swabs were PCR-positive for S. pneumoniae compared to 32% in controls (n=105) (p=0.003). Serotype 19A was the most common pneumococcal serotype carried in children with CAP (13%) and in controls (15%). Most common serotypes were non-vaccine types (39.4% for CAP and 47.1% for controls) and serotypes included only in PCV13 (32.3% for CAP and 23.5% for controls). There was no significant difference in vaccine serotype distribution between the two groups. In fully vaccinated children with CAP, the proportion of serotypes carried only in PCV13 was higher (51.4%) than in partially vaccinated or non vaccinated children (27.6% and 28.6% respectively, p=0.037).
Conclusions: Two to 4 years following introduction of PCV7, predominant S. pneumoniae serotypes carried in children with CAP were non PCV7 serotypes, and the 6 new serotypes included in PCV13 accounted for 51.4% of carried serotypes in fully vaccinated children.