Nasopharyngeal carriage of resistant pneumococci in young South Indian infants
Epidemiology and Infection
Streptococcus pneumoniae is the leading bacterial cause of life-threatening infections in infants. Although antibiotic resistance affects management of pneumococcal infections, few data on patterns of resistance are available for India. We examined nasopharyngeal carriage of antibiotic-resistant pneumococci in 464 South Indian infants between 2 and 6 months. Newly acquired serotypes were screened for susceptibility to cotrimoxazole, erythromycin and penicillin using disk diffusion. Cumulative prevalence of pneumococcal carriage rose from 53.9% at 2 months to 70.2% at 6 months. The prevalence of strains that were not susceptible to penicillin, cotrimoxazole and erythromycin was 3.4, 81.1 and 37.2%, respectively. Carriage of erythromycin non-susceptible strains declined significantly between ages 4 months and 6 months (44.1 vs. 10.7%). More than 87% of the isolates screened were non-susceptible to ≥ 1 antibiotic. Serogroups/types that were most frequently non-susceptible to 1 or more antibiotics were 6, 9, 14, 19 and 23. Less than 1% of the isolates were multi-drug resistant. Widespread use of antibiotics in South India has resulted in S. pneumoniae becoming non-susceptible to some commonly used antibiotics. Monitoring trends in antibiotic susceptibility and making antibiotics available only through prescription from a health care worker may slow the spread of resistant pneumococci and improve management of pneumococcal infections in South India.
Coles, C., Rahmathullah, L., Kanungo, R., Thulasiraj, R., Katz, J., Santosham, M., & Tielsch, J. (2002). Nasopharyngeal carriage of resistant pneumococci in young South Indian infants. Epidemiology and Infection, 129 (3). http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/s0950268802007586