Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

BackgroundStreptococcus pneumoniae (Spn) is a commensal pathogen that usually colonizes the upper respiratory tract of children. Likewise, Spn colonization has been considered a critical factor in the development of pneumococcal invasive disease. However, Spn prevalence in adults remains unclear. This study performs a systematic review and meta-analysis to explore the prevalence of Spn Nasopharynx - Oropharynx Colonization (NOC) in adults.MethodsA Systematic review of scientific databases was utilized to identify eligible studies that follow strict selection criteria. Subsequently, a meta-analysis was conducted to establish NOC prevalence in adults (≥18 years old). The heterogeneity and sensitivity analyses were assessed using the microorganism identification technique, sample type, and age subgroups.ResultsInitial selection includes 69 studies, with 37 selected for the meta-analysis, involving 23,724 individuals. The overall prevalence (95 % CI) of Spn NOC among adults was 6 % (5-9). The subgroup analysis revealed that young adults (YA), 18-64 years old, had a prevalence of 10 %, whereas older adults (OA), ≥65 years old, had a prevalence of 2 %. The identification of Spn NOC may vary depending on the method of diagnosis used. High heterogeneity (I2 > 90 %) was observed but diminished to 70 % when the analysis was restricted to oropharyngeal swabs as an identification method. Furthermore, heterogeneity decreased to 58 % when exclusively employing traditional culture as the identification method.ConclusionsThis study found a low prevalence of Spn NOC in adults. Notably, the prevalence of Spn NOC was higher in younger adults than in older adults. It is essential to highlight a significant heterogeneity among studies, which indicates there is no standardized method of Spn NOC identification.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date



School of Medicine, Universidad de La Sabana, Chía, Colombia; Clínica Universidad de La Sabana, Chía, Colombia; Bioscience PhD, Engineering School, Universidad de La Sabana, Chía, Colombia.