Spread of ceftriaxone non-susceptible pneumococci in South Korea: Long-term care facilities as a potential reservoir

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Despite the availability of a pneumococcal National Immunization Program, which provides free PPSV23 vaccination for older adults aged 65 years in South Korea, pneumococcal pneumonia remains one of the most common respiratory infections, with increasing antimicrobial resistance. From January to December in 2015, all pneumococcal isolates were collected from a 1,050-bed teaching hospital in South Korea. All isolates were analyzed for serotype, genotype, and antimicrobial susceptibility. Demographic, clinical and microbiological data were compared between ceftriaxone susceptible and non-susceptible cases. Among 92 microbiologically identified pneumococcal isolates, ceftriaxone non-susceptible pneumococci (CNSP) accounted for 32 cases (34.8%). Some of these cases also showed levofloxacin resistance (25%, 8/32 isolates) and all CNSP cases were multidrug resistant. Compared to patients with ceftriaxone susceptible pneumococci (CSP), long-term care facility residents (odds ratio [OR] 7.0, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.8–62.1) and patients with chronic lung (OR 4.1, 95% CI 1.1–15.0) and renal diseases (OR 9.1, 95% CI 1.2–70.5) were more common among those with CNSP on multivariate analysis. PPSV23-unique serotypes not included in PCV13 were more common in CNSP than in CSP (34.4% versus 13.3%, p = 0.02). Regarding genotypes, ST320 (10 cases), ST166 (7 cases) and ST8279 (3 cases) were dominant in CNSP, and ST8279 was only detected in previous long-term care facility residents. Clonal expansion and spread of CNSP strains should be monitored among patients with chronic lung/renal diseases and residents of long-term care facilities.




Choi, M. J., Noh, J. Y., Cheong, H. J., Kim, W. J., Kim, M. J., Jang, Y. S., … Song, J. Y. (2019). Spread of ceftriaxone non-susceptible pneumococci in South Korea: Long-term care facilities as a potential reservoir. PLoS ONE, 14(1). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0210520

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