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High prevalence of Streptococcus pneumoniae in adenoids and nasopharynx in preschool children with recurrent upper respiratory tract infections in Poland – distribution of serotypes and drug resistance patterns

Artur Niedzielski, Izabela Korona-Glowniak, Anna Malm

Med Sci Monit 2013; 19:54-60

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.883742

Available online:

Published: 2013-01-18

Background:   Streptococcus pneumoniae is one of the major bacterial pathogens colonizing nasopharynx, and often causes upper respiratory tract infections in children. We investigated the prevalence of S. pneumoniae in nasopharynx and adenoid core in 57 children aged 2–5 years who underwent adenoidectomy for recurrent pharyngotonsillitis, and we determined serotypes and antibiotic resistance patterns of the isolated pneumococci.
            Material/Methods:      The nasopharyngeal specimens obtained before adenoidectomy and the adenoids after the surgery were cultured for pneumococci. All isolates were serotyped by means of Quellung reaction. Susceptibility to antibiotics was determined according to EUCAST recommendations.
            Results:           S. pneumoniae colonization was observed in 40 (70.2%) children. From 29 (50.9%) children S. pneumoniae was isolated both from nasopharynx and adenoid core; 2 or 3 different isolates were identified in 8 (14.0%) children. In 8 (14.0%) children pneumococci were obtained from adenoid core only and in 3 (5.3%) children from nasopharynx only. Among the isolates, 35.3% were susceptible to all tested antimicrobials and 45.1% had decreased susceptibility to penicillin. Multidrug resistance was present in 52.9% of the isolates. The most frequent was serotype 19F (25.5%). The prevalence of serotypes included in pneumococcal conjugate vaccines PCV10 and PCV13 was 51.0% and 62.7%, respectively.
            Conclusions:   The adenoids, like the nasopharynx, can be regarded as a reservoir of pneumococci, including multidrug resistant strains, especially in children with indication for adenoidectomy due to recurrent respiratory tract infections refractory to antibiotic therapy. Good vaccine coverage among the isolated pneumococci confirmed the validity of the routine immunization by PCVs in young children.

Keywords: Recurrence, Poland - epidemiology, Prevalence, Pneumococcal Infections - microbiology, Nasopharynx - microbiology, Microbial Sensitivity Tests, Drug Resistance, Multiple, Bacterial, Demography, Child, Preschool, Anti-Bacterial Agents - therapeutic use, Adenoids - surgery, Respiratory Tract Infections - microbiology, Serotyping, Streptococcus pneumoniae - physiology