Streptococcus pneumoniae colonization in pneumococcal vaccine-naïve human immunodeficiency virus-exposed infected and -uninfected South African children

Marta Coelho Nunes, Soyeon Kim, Bret Zeldow, Avy Violari, Sylvia Dittmer, Haseena Cassim, Teena Thomas, Nadia Van Niekerk, Mark Fredric Cotton, Charles Mitchell, Peter Adrian, Shabir Ahmed Madhi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Pneumococcal nasopharyngeal colonization is a pre-requisite for pneumococcal disease; the risk for pneumococcal disease is high in children born to women living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). We investigated pneumococcal colonization, serotype distribution and antibiotic susceptibility of Streptococcus pneumoniae isolates carried by perinatal HIV-infected and HIV-exposed-uninfected (HEU) children.Serial nasopharyngeal swabs were collected from 331 HIV-infected and 491 HEU children, at up to 6 scheduled timepoints, between median ages of 25 to 181 weeks. Pneumococcus was identified by culture; serotyping and antibiotic susceptibility testing were done by conventional methods. No pneumococcal vaccine was given.HIV-infected children were less likely to be colonized with 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine 7 serotypes than HEU at a median of 25 weeks of age (23% vs 36%; P<.001); however, no differences in colonization between the 2 groups were observed at subsequent study-visits. Over the 36-months study-period pneumococcal colonization increased in both HIV-infected (from 45% to 77%) and HEU (from 57% to 61%) children. Over the study-period, pneumococcal isolates non-susceptible to cotrimoxazole decreased from 92% to 57% and had a similar trend to penicillin (from 65% to 42%) in HIV-infected children. Similarly, pneumococcal nonsusceptible to cotrimoxazole decreased from 93% to 57% and to penicillin from 69% to 37% in HEU children.Vaccine serotype colonization was common in this population and similar rates were observed in HIV-infected and HEU children. The prevalence of pneumococcal isolates non-susceptible to cotrimoxazole and penicillin decreased with age.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere19353
JournalMedicine (United States)
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2020


  • HIV
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae
  • carriage
  • colonization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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