Background Pneumococcal colonization is a precursor to pneumonia, and pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (PCV) can decrease vaccine-type (VT) colonization. Pneumococcal colonization studies are traditionally done among healthy children in the community; however, VT colonization prevalence may differ between these children and those with pneumonia. We assessed overall and VT pneumococcal colonization and factors associated with colonization among children with and without pneumonia after Mozambique introduced 10-valent PCV (PCV10) in 2013. Methods We used data from ongoing pneumonia surveillance in children aged <5 years and from cross-sectional nasopharyngeal colonization surveys conducted in October 2014 –April 2015 and October 2015 –May 2016. Pneumonia was defined using WHO standard criteria for radiologically confirmed pneumonia. Children with pneumonia enrolled from January 2014 –April 2016 were compared to children without pneumonia enrolled from the cross-sectional surveys. Clinical data and nasopharyngeal (NP) swabs were collected from each child. NP specimens were cultured for pneumococci, and culture-negative specimens from children with pneumonia underwent polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Results Of 778 and 927 children with and without pneumonia, 97.4% and 27.0% were exposed to antibiotics before swab collection, respectively. Based on culture, pneumococcal colonization was 45.1% for children with and 84.5% for children without pneumonia (P<0.001); VT pneumococcal colonization was 18.6% for children with and 23.4% for children without pneumonia (P = 0.02). The addition of PCR in children with pneumonia increased overall and VT-pneumococcal colonization to 79.2% and 31.1%, respectively. In multivariable analysis including PCR results, pneumonia was associated with VT pneumococcal colonization (adjusted OR: 1.4, 95%CI: 1.10–1.78). Conclusion Vaccine-type pneumococcal colonization remains common among children with and without pneumonia post-PCV10 introduction in Mozambique. In a population of children with high antibiotic exposure, the use of PCR for culture-negative NP swabs can improve assessment of pneumococcal colonization and circulating serotypes.
Adebanjo, T., Lessa, F. C., Mucavele, H., Moiane, B., Chauque, A., Pimenta, F., … Sigauque, B. (2018). Pneumococcal carriage and serotype distribution among children with and without pneumonia in Mozambique, 2014-2016. PLoS ONE, 13(6). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0199363