Background - Although asymptomatic carriage of () is common, acquisition of the bacteria is the first step in disease pathogenesis. We examined the effect of introduction of the 7-valent pneumococcal vaccine on carriage patterns in a cohort of Peruvian children.
Methods - We used data from a prospective cohort study that collected monthly nasopharyngeal samples from children under 3 years of age. isolates were serotyped using Quellung reactions, and bacterial density was determined by quantitative polymerase chain reaction. Changes in carriage patterns, including the rate of carriage and number and density of serotypes carried over time, were evaluated before (2009) and after widespread vaccination with PCV7 (2011). Using all pneumococcal detections from each child and year, we identified serotypes that were present both at first and last detection as "persisters" and serotypes that replaced a different earlier type and were detected last as "recolonizers."
Results - Ninety-two percent (467/506) of children in 2009 and 89% (451/509) in 2011 carried at least once. In 2009 and 2011, rates of carriage were 9.03 and 9.04 detections per person-year, respectively. In 2009, 23F, a serotype included in PCV7, was the only type identified as a persister and 6A, 15B, and 19A were identified as recolonizer serotypes. In 2011, 6B and 7C were persister serotypes and 13 was a frequent recolonizer serotype.
Conclusions - Overall carriage among children under 3 in Peru was similar before and after introduction of PCV7; however, serotype-specific rates and longitudinal carriage patterns have shifted.