Journal Article

Transmission of <i>Streptococcus pneumoniae</i> in Rural Gambian Villages: A Longitudinal Study

Philip C. Hill, John Townend, Martin Antonio, Biodun Akisanya, Chinelo Ebruke, George Lahai, Brian M. Greenwood and Richard A. Adegbola

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 50, issue 11, pages 1468-1476
Published in print June 2010 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online June 2010 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI:
Transmission of Streptococcus pneumoniae in Rural Gambian Villages: A Longitudinal Study

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Background. To prepare for national introduction of a pneumococcal vaccine of restricted valency, we studied the pattern of nasopharyngeal carriage of Streptococcus pneumoniae and its transmission in Gambian villages over time.

Methods. We collected nasopharyngeal swab specimens every 2 weeks from 158 villagers in 19 households in 2 villages over 1 year. We studied the prevalence and duration of S. pneumoniae carriage, the effect of household size and composition on carriage, and sequence type-specific carriage within and between households.

Results. Ninety-seven percent of children and 85% of adults carried S. pneumoniae at some time. Fifty-three serotypes were represented among 1522 isolates. Carriage was more common among children than adults for all serotypes studied except 9V. There was an overall trend toward shorter carriage with increasing age (P = .043) and significant differences in carriage duration between serotypes. For most serotypes, the odds of being a carrier were greater if there were other carriers in the household. The prevalence of carriage varied by serotype. Most notably, serotype 5 carriage occurred in only 1 village and was transient. Multilocus sequence typing of serotype 6B isolates from 1 village revealed 8 different sequence types and strong evidence of nonrandom distribution among households (P < .001). Study by sequence type suggested household spread starting most commonly in children, followed by spread to adults.

Conclusions. This longitudinal carriage study in Gambian villages provides unique information on the pattern of spread of S. pneumoniae in rural Africa and a baseline for evaluating the impact of the introduction of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine into the region.

Journal Article.  4149 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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