Clinical Microbiology and Infection vol:6 issue:6 pages:308-15
OBJECTIVE: To follow the evolution of capsular types and resistance of Streptococcus pneumoniae, isolated from deep sites. METHODS: More than 100 Belgian laboratories permanently collect S. pneumoniae strains isolated from puncture specimens (blood, cerebrospinal fluid, middle ear fluid, etc.) and forward them to the reference center in Leuven, in order to determine the capsular serogroups and types (SGTs) and their resistance. RESULTS: From 1994 to 1998, the 5486 S. pneumoniae strains examined belonged to 39 of the 46 currently identified SGTs. The 10 most frequent SGTs accounted for 78.9% of the isolates, and 97% of all isolates belonged to SGTs included in the 23-valent vaccine. Overall mortality of patients with pneumococcal bacteremia or meningitis was 9.7%, and 23.8% in patients over 80 years. From 1994 to 1998, resistance to penicillin (P) increased from 7.6% to 14.2%, to tetracycline (T) from 14.9% to 28.0%, and to erythromycin (E) from 22.9% to 31%. Triple resistance (PTE) increased from 0.9% in 1994 to 6.6% in 1998. Five SGTs (6, 9, 14, 19 and 23) accounted for 50% of the isolates, but for > 90% of the penicillin-resistant or erythromycin-resistant isolates. CONCLUSIONS: Resistance of S. pneumoniae to penicillin, erythromycin and tetracycline is steadily increasing and is concentrated in five serotypes included in the 23-valent pneumococcal vaccine. Increasing resistance and high mortality of invasive infections are an incentive to vaccinate vulnerable groups.