Pneumococcal Bacteraemia in Adults over a 10-year period (2011 - 2020): A Clinical and Serotype Analysis

Intern Med J. 2023 Mar 5. doi: 10.1111/imj.16045. Online ahead of print.


Background: Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus) is a human nasopharyngeal tract coloniser responsible for invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD), which is largely vaccine preventable. Vaccination is recommended from birth for all, and through adulthood for those with risk conditions.

Aims: To describe the clinical and serotype analysis of pneumococcus bacteraemia over a 10-year period.

Methods: A 10-year (Feb 2011 - Dec 2020) retrospective review was performed on all adult (age ≥ 18 years) pneumococcus bacteraemia presenting to the four public hospitals in Western Sydney, Australia. Comorbidities and risk factors were recorded.

Results: Three hundred unique episodes of S pneumoniae bloodstream infection (SPBI) were identified during the study period. The median age for SPBI was 63 years with 31.7% aged 70 years or older. 94.7% had one or more risks factors for SPBI. Pneumonia was reported in 80% of all SBPI, whereas meningitis was reported in 6% and infective endocarditis in <1%. Asplenia was noted in 2.4%. Seven and 30-day mortality was 6.6% and 11.9%, with a higher 30-day mortality in those aged ≥70 years (24.4%). The serotype distribution showed 7-valent conjugate vaccine (7vPCV) covered 11.0% of all isolates, whereas 13-valent conjugate vaccine (13vPCV) and a 23-valent polysaccharide vaccine (23vPPV) covered 41.7% and 69.0% respectively. Immunisation details were available for 110 individuals, of whom, only 7.3% had received pneumococcal vaccination.

Conclusions: Most patients with pneumococcal bacteraemia had age or comorbidity related risk factors but were not vaccinated. Two-thirds of cases occurred in people aged <70 years. 13vPCV and 23vPPV covered 41.7% and 69.0% of bacteraemic isolates. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Keywords: Immunization; Pneumococcal Infections; Pneumonia, Pneumococcal; Streptococcus pneumoniae; Vaccines, Conjugate.