New Microbes New Infect. 2015 Dec 20;10:13-8. doi: 10.1016/j.nmni.2015.12.002. eCollection 2016.

Nasopharyngeal colonization of Gambian infants by Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pneumoniae before the introduction of pneumococcal conjugate vaccines.

Usuf E1, Bojang A1, Hill PC2, Bottomley C3, Greenwood B4, Roca A5.

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Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pneumoniae commonly colonize the upper respiratory tract and can cause invasive disease. Several studies suggest an inverse relationship between these two bacteria in the nasopharynx. This association is of particular concern as the introduction of pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (PCVs) that affect pneumococcal nasopharyngeal carriage become widespread. A cohort of children in rural Gambia were recruited at birth and followed for 1 year, before the introduction of PCV into the routine immunization program. Nasopharyngeal swabs were taken immediately after birth, every 2 weeks for the first 6 months and then every other month. The presence of S. aureus and S. pneumoniae was determined using conventional microbiologic methods. Prevalence of S. aureus carriage was 71.6% at birth, decreasing with age to reach a plateau at approximately 20% between 10 to 20 weeks of age. Carriage with any S. pneumoniae increased during the first 10 weeks of life to peak at approximately 90%, mostly of PCV13 serotypes. Although in the crude analysis S. aureus carriage was inversely associated with carriage of any S. pneumoniae and PCV13 serotypes, after adjusting by age and season, there was a positive association with any carriage (odds ratio 1.32; 95% confidence interval 1.07-1.64; p 0.009) and no association with carriage of PCV13 serotypes (odds ratio 0.99; 95% confidence interval 0.70-1.41; p 0.973). Among Gambian infants, S. aureus and S. pneumoniae are not inversely associated in nasopharyngeal carriage after adjustment for age. Further carriage studies following the introduction of PCV are needed to better understand the relationship between the two bacteria.


Carriage; Staphylococcus aureus; Streptococcus pneumoniae; infants; nasopharyngeal

PMID: 26909154 [PubMed] PMCID: PMC4733216