You are now leaving GSK Malta Health Portal

You are about to leave a GSK Website. By clicking this link, you will be taken to an external website that is not owned or controlled by GSK, and GSK is not responsible for the content provided on this site. If you do not wish to leave this website, click on “Go Back” below:

Continue

Go back

MLT_GIB/OTH/0007/17m
Date of preparation: March 2018

What bacteria causes pneumococcal infections?  

Streptococcus Pneumoniae is most commonly carried in the nasopharynx of healthy children 2 years of age or under. 1 Streptococcus pneumoniae is the cause of all pneumococcal infections, which can result in a range of clinical manifestations, such as invasive pneumococcal disease (which includes meningitis, bacteraemia, septicaemia, bacteraemic pneumonia or septic arthritis), as well as non-invasive pneumococcal diseases such as pneumonia, otitis media, and sinusitis. 2 3

How is Streptococcus pneumoniae transmitted?

Infants and young children are thought to be the main reservoir of Streptococcus pneumoniae, with the prevalence of nasopharyngeal carriage ranging from 27% in developed countries to 85% in developing countries. 2

Streptococcus pneumoniae is transmitted by aerosol, droplets or direct contact with respiratory secretions of someone carrying the bacteria; usually requiring either frequent or prolonged close contact. 4

Pneumococcal infections can spread to various part of the body (e.g. bloodstream, brains or lungs) and result in a range of clinical manifestations. 2 These include invasive pneumococcal disease (isolation of pneumococci from a normally sterile site, e.g. meningitis, bacteraemia, septicaemia, bacteraemic pneumonia or septic arthritis), and non-invasive pneumococcal diseases such as pneumonia, otitis media, sinusitis. 2 3 Non-invasive diseases such as otitis media and sinusitis are milder, but more common, than more serious clinical manifestations such as meningitis, bacteraemia and pneumonia. 4

References:

  1. Andrade AL, et al. Direct effect of 10-valent conjugate pneumococcal vaccination on pneumococcal carriage in children Brazil. PLoS One 2014; 9: e98128.
  2. WHO. Pneumococcal vaccines WHO position paper – 2012. Weekly epidemiological record 2012; 87:129-44. Available at: http://www.who.int/wer/2012/wer8714.pdf?ua=1 [Last accessed January 2015].
  3. Ross JJ, et al. Pneumococcal Septic Arthritis: Review of 190 Cases. Clin Infect Dis 2003; 36: 319–27.
  4. CDC. Chapter 16: Pneumococcal Disease. In: Atkinson W, Wolfe S, Hamborsky J, eds. Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases [Pink Book]. 12th edn. Washington, DC: Public Health Foundation; 2012e: 233–48.