Increasing prevalence of penicillin-resistant pneumococcal infections in children in Southern Israel: Implications for future immunization policies

Ron Dagan, Pablo Yagupsky, Aviv Goldbart, Avril Wasas, Keith Klugman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

79 Scopus citations


Although penicillin-resistant pneumococi (PR-PnC) are reconized as an increasing problem worldwide, data on the prevalence of these strains among pediatric patients are incomplete. The present study was conducted in southern Israel (1) to investigate the frequency of PR-PnC in invasive and middle ear infections in pediatric patients and (2) to assess the impact of resistance on the potential role of the candidate conjugate vaccines in preventing childhood PR-PnC infections. A total of 120 blood or cerebrospinal fluid isolates from 1987 to 1993 and 78 ear isolates from 1992 to 1993 were serogrouped and tested for susceptibility to antibacterial agents. The prevalence of PR-PnC among invasive isolates increased from 16% in the years 1987 to 1991 to 36% in 1992 to 1993 (P = 0.019). This increase was noted mainly for intermediately resistant strains (minimal inhibitory concentration, 0.12 to 1.0 μg/ml) whereas the prevalence of highly resistant strains was 3 and 2% for the 2 periods, respectively. The prevalence of PR-PnC among ear isolates in 1992 to 1993 was 42%. Resistance to other antimicrobial agents (one or more of the followng: tetracycline, erythormycin, clindamycin and chloramphenicol) was found in 16 (8%) isolates, and multiple resistance (resistance to ≥3 antibacterial agents) was found in 9 (5%) isolates. Sixty-five (99%) of the 66 resistant isolates belong to Serogroups 6, 14, 19 and 23. The prevalence of these 4 serogroups rose from 37% in 1987 to 1991 to 66% in 1992 to 1993 (P = 0.043). This rise was mainly because of Serogroup 23, the prevalence of which rose from 3% in 1987 to 1991 to 23% in 1992 to 1993 (P < 0.001). Eighty-five percent of all isolates belonging to Serougroup 23 were resistant to penicillin. Because Serogroups 6, 14, 19 and 23 are among the commonest pediatric pneumococcal strains, the newly developed conjugate pneumococcal vaccines contain these 4 serogroups. The selection of antibiotic-resestant strains has thus led to a change in the spectrum of serotypes causing invasive disease and to a situation of potential increase in vaccine coverage for the proposed pneumococcal conjugate vaccines.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)782-786
Number of pages5
JournalPediatric Infectious Disease Journal
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1994


  • Antibiotic resistance
  • Epidemiology
  • Immunization
  • Pediatrics
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


Dive into the research topics of 'Increasing prevalence of penicillin-resistant pneumococcal infections in children in Southern Israel: Implications for future immunization policies'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this