Non-invasive pneumococcal pneumonia in Portugal--serotype distribution and antimicrobial resistance

PLoS One. 2014 Jul 30;9(7):e103092. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0103092. eCollection 2014.


There is limited information on the serotypes causing non-invasive pneumococcal pneumonia (NIPP). Our aim was to characterize pneumococci causing NIPP in adults to determine recent changes in serotype prevalence, the potential coverage of pneumococcal vaccines and changes in antimicrobial resistance. Serotypes and antimicrobial susceptibility profiles of a sample of 1300 isolates recovered from adult patients (≥18 yrs) between 1999 and 2011 (13 years) were determined. Serotype 3 was the most frequent cause of NIPP accounting for 18% of the isolates. The other most common serotypes were 11A (7%), 19F (7%), 19A (5%), 14 (4%), 22F (4%), 23F (4%) and 9N (4%). Between 1999 and 2011, there were significant changes in the proportion of isolates expressing vaccine serotypes, with a steady decline of the serotypes included in the 7-valent conjugate vaccine from 31% (1999-2003) to 11% (2011) (P<0.001). Taking together the most recent study years (2009-2011), the potential coverage of the 13-valent conjugate vaccine was 44% and of the 23-valent polysaccharide vaccine was 66%. While erythromycin resistance increased from 8% in 1999-2003 to 18% in 2011 (P<0.001), no significant trend was identified for penicillin non-susceptibility, which had an average value of 18.5%. The serotype distribution found in this study for NIPP was very different from the one previously described for IPD, with only two serotypes in common to the ones responsible for half of each presentation in 2009-2011 - serotypes 3 and 19A. In spite of these differences, the overall prevalence of resistant isolates was similar in NIPP and in IPD.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology
  • Drug Resistance, Bacterial*
  • Humans
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Middle Aged
  • Pneumococcal Vaccines / adverse effects
  • Pneumonia, Pneumococcal / epidemiology*
  • Pneumonia, Pneumococcal / etiology
  • Pneumonia, Pneumococcal / microbiology*
  • Population Surveillance
  • Portugal / epidemiology
  • Serogroup
  • Serotyping
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae / classification*
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae / drug effects*
  • Young Adult


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Pneumococcal Vaccines

Grant support

A.N. Horácio was supported by grant SFRH/BD/81205/2011, from Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia, Portugal. This work was partially supported by Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia, Portugal (PTDC/DTP-EPI/1759/2012) and unrestricted research grants from Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.