Streptococcus pneumoniae and staphylococcus aureus carriage in healthy School-Age children and Adolescents

Susanna Esposito, Leonardo Terranova, Luca Ruggiero, Beatrice Ascolese, Valentina Montinaro, Walter Peves Rios, Carlotta Galeone, Nicola Principi

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Streptococcus pneumoniae and Staphylococcus aureus are common commensals of the upper respiratory tract in children and adolescents. Understanding the relationship between these two pathogens, including their potential for mutual interference, is needed to evaluate the epidemiology of the diseases they cause, the factors that condition acquisition and carriage, and the impact of related preventative measures. We obtained oropharyngeal and nasal swabs from 497 healthy subjects aged 6–17 years. S. pneumoniae detection and serotyping were performed using a real-time PCR and S. aureus detection was performed using the RIDAGENE MRSA system. We found that 136 (27.3%) of the children were carriers of both species, 121 (24.3%) of the children carried S. pneumoniae alone and 128 (25.7%) of the children carried S. aureus alone. S. aureus carriage was similar between children who carried S. pneumoniae (136/257, 52.9%, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 46.8–58.9%) vs those who did not (128/240, 53.3%, 95% CI: 47.0 –59.5%) and was independent of age and vaccination with 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7). Vaccination with PCV7 did not affect S. aureus carriage [S. pneumoniae: 84/143 (58.7%, 95% CI: 50.5 –66.5%) vaccinated children vs 171/ 351 (48.7%, 95% CI: 43.5 –53.9%) unvaccinated children; S. aureus: 67/143 (46.9%, 95% CI: 38.9–55.0%) vaccinated children vs 195/351 (55.6%, 95% CI: 50.3 –60.7%) unvaccinated children]. Pneumococcal serotype also did not appear to affect S. aureus carriage. These findings suggested that the carriage of S. pneumoniae did not affect that of S. aureus in older children and adolescents, regardless of age, PCV7 vaccination and pneumococcal serotype.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)427-443
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Medical Microbiology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Microbiology
  • Medicine(all)


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