Serotype Patterns of Pneumococcal Disease in Adults Are Correlated With Carriage Patterns in Older Children

Clin Infect Dis. 2021 Jun 1;72(11):e768-e775. doi: 10.1093/cid/ciaa1480.


Background: The importance of specific serotypes causing invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) differs by age. Data on pneumococcal carriage in different age groups, along with data on serotype-specific invasiveness, could help explain these age-related patterns and their implications for vaccination.

Methods: Using pneumococcal carriage and disease data from Israel, we evaluated the association between serotype-specific IPD in adults and serotype-specific carriage prevalence among children in different age categories, while adjusting for serotype-specific invasiveness. We estimated carriage prevalence using different age groupings that were selected a priori. The Deviance Information Criterion was used to determine which age groupings of carriage data best fit the adult IPD data. Serotype-specific disease patterns were further evaluated by stratifying IPD data by comorbidity status.

Results: The relative frequency of serotypes causing IPD differed between adults and children, and also differed between older and younger adults and between adults with and without comorbidities. Serotypes overrepresented as causes of IPD in adults were more commonly carried in older children compared with younger children. In line with this, the serotype-specific frequency of carriage in older children, rather than infants, best correlated with serotype-specific IPD in adults.

Conclusions: These analyses demonstrate that the serotype patterns in carriage in older children, rather than infants, are best correlated with disease patterns in adults. This might suggest these older children are more influential for disease patterns in adults. These insights could help in optimizing vaccination strategies to reduce disease burden across all ages.

Keywords: pneumococcus; comorbidity; disease prediction; elderly; invasive pneumococcal disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Carrier State*
  • Child
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Israel
  • Pneumococcal Infections*
  • Pneumococcal Vaccines
  • Serogroup
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae


  • Pneumococcal Vaccines