Streptococcus pneumoniae epidemiological, clinical and serological studies
Sammanfattning: A retrospective study of invasive pneumococcal disease in patients from Greater Göteborg in 1964- 1980 identified 125 cases of meningitis, 305 of pneumonia, 61 of septicemia with unknown focus, and 17 with other manifestations, all verified by cultures from normally sterile body fluids. The incidence was several times higher in infants and in the elderly than in any other age-group. A wide variety of underlying conditions were present in 23% of the infants, 34% of the children, and 81% of the adults. In adults alcoholism was known in one third of the cases. The case fatality rate was 24% among patients with underlying conditions and 9% among previously healthy individuals. The case fatality rate was 50% in patients with hospital-acquired infection.Twohundred-fifteen pneumococcal strains, isolated from blood or CSF from 1971 to 1983 at the laboratories of clinical bacteriology of Göteborg, Malmö, and Umeå were serotyped by coagglutination (COA). Of all isolates, 89% belonged to serotypes represented in the 23-valent vaccine. In a separate study COA was compared with counterimmunoelectrophoresis (CIE). COA was found to have several advantages; rapidity, lower cost, and ability to disclose serotypes with neutral charge, which constituted 19% of all strains.In a prospective study the etiology was determined in 196 hospitalized patients with pneumonia, most of them community-acquired. Culture of specimens from blood, transtracheal aspirate (TTA), sputum, and nasopharynx, assays of antigen in sputum, urine, and TTA, and assays of pneumococcal antibodies to capsular polysaccharide, C-polysaccharide, and pneumolysin in paired sera were performed. The etiology was established in 64% of the patients. Streptococcus pneumoniae was the most common agent (32%).In a serological study of patients with pneumococcal infection, diagnosed by culture of CSF, TTA, or blood, IgG antibodies against C-polysaccharide and pneumolysin were determined by ELISA. The diagnostic sensitivity was only 51% and 60%, respectively.In conclusion, invasive pneumococcal disease is strongly overrepresented at tender and high age and in patients with concomitant conditions, notably alcoholism. S. pneumoniae remains a predominant causative agent of community-acquired pneumonia in adults needing hospitalization. Due to the low sensitivity and/or specificity of individual microbiological techniques, a combined use of several techniques is necessary when trying to assess the relative importance of pneumococci and other agents in pneumonia. Extended use of the currently available pneumococcal vaccine and development of improved pneumococcal vaccines seem highly warranted.
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