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Concept: Streptococcus pneumoniae


Acute otitis media (AOM) is a leading cause of visits to physicians and of antibiotic prescriptions for young children. We systematically reviewed studies on all-cause AOM episodes and physician visits in which impact was attributed to pneumococcal conjugate vaccines, either as efficacy or effectiveness. Of 18 relevant publications found, most used the 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (7vCRM). The efficacy of 7vCRM against all-cause AOM episodes or visits was 0%-9% in randomized trials and 17%-23% in nonrandomized trials. In observational database studies, physician visits for AOM were already declining in the 3-5 years before 7vCRM introduction (mean change, -15%; range, +14% to -24%) and continued to decline afterward (mean, -19%; range, +7% to -48%). This vaccine provides some protection against OM, but other factors have also contributed to the recent decline in OM incidence. Future effectiveness studies should thus use better-controlled methods to estimate the true impact of vaccination on AOM.

Concepts: Medicine, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Vaccine, Vaccination, Randomized controlled trial, Vaccination schedule, Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, Otitis media


Pneumococcal infection in children is a major public health problem worldwide, including in Japan. The pneumococcal conjugate vaccine 7 (PCV7) was licensed for use in Japan in 2010 followed by PCV13 in 2013. This report includes the results of a nationwide surveillance of invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) and non-IPD in paediatric patients from January 2012 to December 2014. We collected 343 isolates from 337 IPD patients and 286 isolates from 278 non-IPD patients. Of the IPD isolates, the most identified serotypes included 19A, 24F, and 15A. The prevalence of non-PCV13 serotype isolates increased significantly from 2012 to 2014 (51.6-71.4%, p=0.004). Serotypes 19A, 15A and 35B were highly non-susceptible to penicillin, and the rates of non-susceptible isolates from IPD patients to penicillin and cefotaxime significantly declined during the study period (p=0.029 and p=0.013, respectively). The non-susceptible rate to meropenem increased, particularly for serotype 15A. The IPD isolates comprised clonal complex (CC) 3111 (93.8% was serotype 19A) followed by CC2572 (81.5% was serotype 24F) and CC63 (97.1% was serotype 15A). CC3111, CC63 and CC156 (33.3% was serotype 23A, 28.6% was serotype 6B, and 14.3% was serotype 19A) were highly non-susceptible to penicillin. Of the non-IPD isolates, the most identified serotypes included 19A, 15A, and 3. In conclusion, the introduction of PCV7 and PCV13 resulted in increasing non-PCV13 serotypes and clones, including antimicrobial resistant serotypes 15A and CC63 (Sweden(15A)-25 clone).

Concepts: Microbiology, Pneumonia, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Streptococcus, Pneumococcal infection, Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, Pneumococcal vaccine, Pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine


Pulmonary valve endocarditis is an rare type of infective endocarditis (IE). Streptococcus pneumoniae is a pathogen that is uncommonly associated with IE. A 50 year-old man was referred to us to an incidental echocardiographic finding of a pulmonary valve vegetation. He had a recent admission for drainage of a scrotal abscess from which streptococcus pneumoniae was isolated, complicated by hospital acquired pneumonia and pulmonary embolism. Analysis using Polymerase Chain Reaction of the surgically resected mass revealed signs of 16S rDNA consistent with Streptococcus pneumoniae infection. This is the first confirmed case of pneumococcal pulmonary valve IE presenting entirely asymptomatically in the absence of any known risk factors.

Concepts: Bacteria, Polymerase chain reaction, Pneumonia, Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Streptococcus, Infective endocarditis, Thermus aquaticus


Disease due to Streptococcus pneumoniae, the pneumococcus, remains a major source of illness in older persons. Globally, it remains the most important pathogen in respiratory infection deaths. Conjugated pneumococcal vaccines are used extensively in national pediatric programs, whereas a polysaccharide vaccine is used in all age groups, but mainly in the elderly and for high-risk groups. Recent data from the Netherlands led to the licensing in many countries of conjugated pneumococcal vaccines for older persons. There are substantial differences in recommendations from various national immunization technical advisory groups, which owe at least as much to differing assessments of available studies as to differences in local epidemiology. This review examines those differences and proposes a way forward.

Concepts: Immune system, Pneumonia, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Vaccination, Streptococcus, Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, Pneumococcal vaccine, Pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine


Immunization with pneumococcal vaccines is an important prophylactic strategy for children with asplenia or splenic dysfunction, who are at high risk of bacterial infections (including S. pneumoniae). This study aimed to assess immunogenicity and safety of pneumococcal non-typeable Haemophilus influenzae protein D conjugate vaccine (PHiD-CV, GSK) in this at-risk population.

Concepts: Immune system, Microbiology, Pneumonia, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, Otitis media, Haemophilus influenzae, Polysaccharide encapsulated bacteria


Infection is the most common cause of mortality in early life, and immunization is the most promising biomedical intervention to reduce this burden. However, newborns fail to respond optimally to most vaccines. Adjuvantation is a key approach to enhancing vaccine immunogenicity, but responses of human newborn leukocytes to most candidate adjuvants, including most TLR agonists, are functionally distinct. Herein, we demonstrate that 3M-052 is a locally acting lipidated imidazoquinoline TLR7/8 agonist adjuvant in mice, which, when properly formulated, can induce robust Th1 cytokine production by human newborn leukocytes in vitro, both alone and in synergy with the alum-adjuvanted pneumococcal conjugate vaccine 13 (PCV13). When admixed with PCV13 and administered i.m. on the first day of life to rhesus macaques, 3M-052 dramatically enhanced generation of Th1 CRM-197-specific neonatal CD4(+) cells, activation of newborn and infant Streptococcus pneumoniae polysaccharide-specific (PnPS-specific) B cells as well as serotype-specific antibody titers, and opsonophagocytic killing. Remarkably, a single dose at birth of PCV13 plus 0.1 mg/kg 3M-052 induced PnPS-specific IgG responses that were approximately 10-100 times greater than a single birth dose of PCV13 alone, rapidly exceeding the serologic correlate of protection, as early as 28 days of life. This potent immunization strategy, potentially effective with one birth dose, could represent a new paradigm in early life vaccine development.

Concepts: Immune system, Childbirth, Infant, Pneumonia, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Vaccine, Immunology, Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine


Background Community-acquired pneumonia is a leading infectious cause of hospitalization and death among U.S. adults. Incidence estimates of pneumonia confirmed radiographically and with the use of current laboratory diagnostic tests are needed. Methods We conducted active population-based surveillance for community-acquired pneumonia requiring hospitalization among adults 18 years of age or older in five hospitals in Chicago and Nashville. Patients with recent hospitalization or severe immunosuppression were excluded. Blood, urine, and respiratory specimens were systematically collected for culture, serologic testing, antigen detection, and molecular diagnostic testing. Study radiologists independently reviewed chest radiographs. We calculated population-based incidence rates of community-acquired pneumonia requiring hospitalization according to age and pathogen. Results From January 2010 through June 2012, we enrolled 2488 of 3634 eligible adults (68%). Among 2320 adults with radiographic evidence of pneumonia (93%), the median age of the patients was 57 years (interquartile range, 46 to 71); 498 patients (21%) required intensive care, and 52 (2%) died. Among 2259 patients who had radiographic evidence of pneumonia and specimens available for both bacterial and viral testing, a pathogen was detected in 853 (38%): one or more viruses in 530 (23%), bacteria in 247 (11%), bacterial and viral pathogens in 59 (3%), and a fungal or mycobacterial pathogen in 17 (1%). The most common pathogens were human rhinovirus (in 9% of patients), influenza virus (in 6%), and Streptococcus pneumoniae (in 5%). The annual incidence of pneumonia was 24.8 cases (95% confidence interval, 23.5 to 26.1) per 10,000 adults, with the highest rates among adults 65 to 79 years of age (63.0 cases per 10,000 adults) and those 80 years of age or older (164.3 cases per 10,000 adults). For each pathogen, the incidence increased with age. Conclusions The incidence of community-acquired pneumonia requiring hospitalization was highest among the oldest adults. Despite current diagnostic tests, no pathogen was detected in the majority of patients. Respiratory viruses were detected more frequently than bacteria. (Funded by the Influenza Division of the National Center for Immunizations and Respiratory Diseases.).

Concepts: Immune system, Bacteria, Microbiology, Pneumonia, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Vaccination, Influenza, Pathogen


Commensal organisms with the potential to cause disease pose a challenge in developing treatment options. Using the example featured in this study, pneumococcal disease begins with Streptococcus pneumoniae colonization, followed by triggering events that prompt the release of a virulent subpopulation of bacteria. Current vaccines focus on colonization prevention, which poses unintended consequences of serotype niche replacement. In this study, noncovalent colocalization of two classes of complementary antigens, one to prevent the colonization of the most aggressive S. pneumoniae serotypes and another to restrict virulence transition, provides complete vaccine effectiveness in animal subjects and the most comprehensive coverage of disease reported to date. As a result, the proposed vaccine formulation offers universal pneumococcal disease prevention with the prospect of effectively managing a disease that afflicts tens to hundreds of millions globally. The approach more generally puts forth a balanced prophylactic treatment strategy in response to complex commensal-host dynamics.

Concepts: Microbiology, Pneumonia, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Streptococcus, Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, Meningitis


The structure and composition of bacterial communities can compromise antibiotic efficacy. For example, the secretion of β-lactamase by individual bacteria provides passive resistance for all residents within a polymicrobial environment. Here, we uncover that collective resistance can also develop via intracellular antibiotic deactivation. Real-time luminescence measurements and single-cell analysis demonstrate that the opportunistic human pathogen Streptococcus pneumoniae grows in medium supplemented with chloramphenicol (Cm) when resistant bacteria expressing Cm acetyltransferase (CAT) are present. We show that CAT processes Cm intracellularly but not extracellularly. In a mouse pneumonia model, more susceptible pneumococci survive Cm treatment when coinfected with a CAT-expressing strain. Mathematical modeling predicts that stable coexistence is only possible when antibiotic resistance comes at a fitness cost. Strikingly, CAT-expressing pneumococci in mouse lungs were outcompeted by susceptible cells even during Cm treatment. Our results highlight the importance of the microbial context during infectious disease as a potential complicating factor to antibiotic therapy.

Concepts: Bacteria, Microbiology, Pneumonia, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Antibiotic resistance, Streptococcus, Antibiotic, Microorganism


Streptococcus pneumoniae has a complex relationship with its obligate human host. On the one hand, the pneumococci are highly adapted commensals, and their main reservoir on the mucosal surface of the upper airways of carriers enables transmission. On the other hand, they can cause severe disease when bacterial and host factors allow them to invade essentially sterile sites, such as the middle ear spaces, lungs, bloodstream and meninges. Transmission, colonization and invasion depend on the remarkable ability of S. pneumoniae to evade or take advantage of the host inflammatory and immune responses. The different stages of pneumococcal carriage and disease have been investigated in detail in animal models and, more recently, in experimental human infection. Furthermore, widespread vaccination and the resulting immune pressure have shed light on pneumococcal population dynamics and pathogenesis. Here, we review the mechanistic insights provided by these studies on the multiple and varied interactions of the pneumococcus and its host.

Concepts: Immune system, Pneumonia, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Streptococcus, Pneumococcal infection, Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, Otitis media, Meningitis