STREPTOCOCCUS PNEUMONIAE SEROTYPE DISTRIBUTION AFTER THE INTRODUCTION OF PNEUMOCOCCAL CONJUGATE VACCINES
Keywords:Streptococcus pneumoniae, pneumococcal serotypes, PCVs
Streptococcus pneumoniae serotypes are changing due to the widely introduced pneumococcal conjugate vaccines. Surveillance studies have proven valuable in monitoring these vaccine effects. S. pneumoniae is highly adaptable to its human reservoir and colonises mucosal surfaces of upper airways mainly in children. Carriage decreases during the first 2 years of life because of the development of naturally acquired adaptive immune memory. Most of the serotypes do not cause serious illnesses but few of them are responsible for severe pneumococcal infections. Ten of the most common serotypes are estimated to cause over 60% of invasive diseases worldwide. The virulence factor of S. pneumoniae is the polysaccharide capsule as non-encapsulated strains are absent among the strains causing invasive pneumococcal disease. Prevalence of serotypes differs depending on the age group and geographic area of patients. Differences in PCV implementation lead to changes in serotype distribution and to significant reduction of disease caused by vaccine types.
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