The relationship between pneumococcal serotypes and antibiotic resistance

Jae Hoon Song, Ron Dagan, Keith P. Klugman, Bernard Fritzell

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

108 Scopus citations


Streptococcus pneumoniae (SP) causes significant burden of disease, including invasive pneumococcal disease and noninvasive diseases such as pneumonia and acute otitis media. SP has at least 93 different capsular serotypes, with the various serotypes having different propensities for producing disease or developing antibiotic resistance. An increase in the prevalence of antibiotic-resistant SP serotypes has been observed globally. The objective of this paper was to examine the relationship between antibiotic resistance and SP serotypes, with a primary focus on studies published in the past 10 years. Changing trends in antibiotic resistance and serotype distribution during this time, including those before and after the introduction of 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7), were analyzed. Factors that influence the prevalence of antibiotic-resistant serotypes include antibiotic selection pressure, the use of PCV7, and the emergence and spread of antibiotic-resistant clones. The emergence of multidrug resistant serotype 19A is of particular concern. Antibiotic-resistant SP is a global problem that must be addressed through multiple strategies, including national vaccination programs, antibiotic control programs, and ongoing surveillance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2728-2737
Number of pages10
Issue number17
StatePublished - 5 Apr 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Antibiotic resistance
  • PCV7
  • Pneumococcal
  • Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine
  • Pneumococcal serotypes
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • General Veterinary
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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