Journal Article

Antimicrobial susceptibility and serotype distribution of <i>Streptococcus pneumoniae</i> causing meningitis in Egypt, 1998–2003

Momtaz O. Wasfy, Guillermo Pimentel, Mohammed Abdel-Maksoud, Kevin L. Russell, Christopher P. Barrozo, John D. Klena, Kenneth Earhart and Rana Hajjeh

in Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy

Published on behalf of British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy

Volume 55, issue 6, pages 958-964
Published in print June 2005 | ISSN: 0305-7453
Published online April 2005 | e-ISSN: 1460-2091 | DOI:
Antimicrobial susceptibility and serotype distribution of Streptococcus pneumoniae causing meningitis in Egypt, 1998–2003

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Objectives: To determine the antimicrobial susceptibility and serotype distribution of 205 isolates of Streptococcus pneumoniae, collected from the CSF of meningitis patients identified between 1998–2003, during sentinel meningitis surveillance in Egypt.

Methods: Antimicrobial susceptibility was evaluated against six antibiotics using disc diffusion and Etest methods. Serotyping was performed by latex agglutination and the Quellung test.

Results: Forty-nine percent of all isolates were found to be non-susceptible to penicillin (46% intermediate, MIC range 0.12–1.0 mg/L; 3% resistant, MIC = 2.0 mg/L), and 6% of the isolates were non-susceptible to ceftriaxone (5% intermediate, MIC = 1.0 mg/L; 1.3% resistant, MIC ≥ 2 mg/L). Resistance rates for tetracycline and trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole were high (52 and 59.7%, respectively), but those for erythromycin and chloramphenicol were lower (11 and 9%, respectively). Five serotypes (6B, 1, 19A, 23F and 6A) accounted for 37% of the total isolates. Ten isolates (5%) were non-typeable. Overall, 29 and 42% of serotypes were represented in the 7- and 11-valent conjugate vaccines, respectively. However, vaccine coverage for children <2 years was 38 and 56% for the 7- and 11-valent, respectively.

Conclusions: Resistance to penicillin may be increasing among S. pneumoniae strains causing meningitis in Egypt, and a moderate proportion of these strains are not covered by current pneumococcal conjugate vaccines. In addition to intensifying education efforts about judicious use of antibiotics, laboratory-based surveillance for other forms of invasive pneumococcal disease, especially pneumonia, is needed before decisions can be made regarding the most effective vaccines for control of this disease in Egypt.

Keywords: pneumococci; serotypes; surveillance; vaccines

Journal Article.  4086 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medical Oncology ; Critical Care

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