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BACKGROUND: Information on Streptococcus pneumoniae nasopharyngeal (NP) carriage before the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) introduction is essential to monitor impact. The 10-valent PCV (PCV10) was officially introduced throughout Ugandan national childhood immunization programs in 2013 and rolled-out countrywide during 2014. We aimed to measure the age-specific Streptococcus pneumoniae carriage and serotype distribution across all population age groups in the pre-PCV10 era in South Western Uganda. METHODS: We conducted a two-stage cluster, age-stratified, cross-sectional community-based study in Sheema North sub-district between January and March 2014. One NP swab was collected and analyzed for each participant in accordance with World Health Organization guidelines. RESULTS: NP carriage of any pneumococcal serotype was higher among children <2years old (77%; n=387) than among participants aged ≥15years (8.5%; n=325) (chi2 p<0.001). Of the 623 positive cultures, we identified 49 serotypes among 610 (97.9%) isolates; thirteen (2.1%) isolates were non-typeable. Among <2years old, serotypes 6A, 6B, 14, 15B, 19F and 23F accounted for half of all carriers. Carriage prevalence with PCV10 serotypes was 29.4% among individuals aged <2years (n=387), 23.4% in children aged 2-4years (n=217), 11.4% in 5-14years (n=417), and 0.4% among individuals ≥15years of age (n=325). The proportion of carried pneumococci serotypes contained in PCV10 was 38.1% (n=291), 32.8% (n=154), 29.4% (n=156), and 4.4% (n=22) among carriers aged <2years, 2-4years, 5-14years and ≥15years, respectively. DISCUSSION: In Sheema district, the proportion of PCV10 serotypes was low (<40%), across all age groups, especially among individuals aged 15years or older (<5%). PCV10 introduction is likely to impact transmission among children and to older individuals, but less likely to substantially modify pneumococcal NP ecology among individuals aged 15years or older.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





5271 - 5277


Adult, Children, Nasopharyngeal carriage, Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, Pneumococcal serotypes, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Uganda, Adolescent, Child, Child, Preschool, Cross-Sectional Studies, Female, Humans, Infant, Infant, Newborn, Male, Pneumococcal Infections, Pneumococcal Vaccines, Prevalence, Serogroup, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Uganda, Vaccines, Conjugate