Objectives: To determine risk factors for carriage of drug-resistant Streptococcus pneumoniae to understand better the factors promoting spread of these isolates.
Study design: We obtained medical and demographic information and nasopharyngeal swab specimens from 216 children less than 6 years old with upper respiratory tract infections, seeking medical care at five Memphis, Tenn, study sites. We evaluated risk factors for carriage of penicillin-nonsusceptible S. pneumoniae (NSSP) among 100 children with S. pneumoniae isolates. Patterns of antimicrobial prescription were recorded for enrolled children.
Results: Independent risk factors for carriage of NSSP included an increased number of antimicrobial treatment courses during the previous 3 months and white race. Day care attendance approached statistical significance (p = 0.07). Most children with upper respiratory tract infection received a prescription for antimicrobial drugs. These prescriptions were more common for white children than for black children.
Conclusions: Increased use of antimicrobial drugs enhances the risk of carriage of NSSP. This may contribute to the higher risk among white children of NSSP infection; however, after control for antimicrobial use, white children were still at an increased risk of infection with NSSP, possibly through greater exposure to resistant strains.