May 1, 1996

Pneumococcal disease among children in a rural area of west Africa

The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal
Tim O'DempseyB M Greenwood

Abstract

The pneumococcus is a frequent cause of pneumonia and other serious infections among young children in developing countries. Defining the pattern of pneumococcal infection in these countries is important so that, with the advent of pneumococcal conjugate vaccines, rational vaccination policies can be developed. Children younger than 5 years of age who attended clinics in a rural area of The Gambia, West Africa, were screened by assistants during a 2-year period. Children with predefined features suggestive of a diagnosis of pneumonia, meningitis or septicemia were referred to the Medical Research Council Field Station at Basse for investigation. Of 2898 children investigated 103 cases of invasive pneumococcal disease (70 definite and 33 probable) were identified, suggesting that the incidence of this infection in the study community is at least 554/100,000/year in children younger than 1 year of age and 240/100,000/year in those younger than 5 years, rates many times higher than those found in industrialized societies. The mean age of presentation was 15 months; more boys than girls were affected. Cases of pneumonia were encountered 8 times more frequently than those of meningitis. Antibiotic resistance was rarely found and cas...Continue Reading

Mentioned in this Paper

Septicemia
Pneumococcal conjugate
Meningitis, Pneumococcal, Penicillin-Resistant
Vaccines
Seasonal Variation
Syntomycin
Polyvalent pneumococcal vaccine
Pneumococcal Infections
Pneumonia
Bacteremia

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