What is the prevalence of specific pediatric pneumococcal infections?

Updated: Jan 14, 2019
  • Author: Meera Varman, MD; Chief Editor: Russell W Steele, MD  more...
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See the list below:

  • Otitis media: Approximately 30% of children have at least one episode of pneumococcal otitis media by age 3 years. Pneumococci cause approximately 40% of otitis media cases. After the pneumococcal vaccination, nonvaccine serotype is encountered more frequently as a cause of otitis compared with vaccine serotypes.

  • Bacteremia: Pneumococci are responsible for as many as 85% of occult cases of bacteremia in children. Bacteremia is seen in 3-5% of children aged 3-36 months with fever higher than 102.5°F without another source. In the postvaccine licensure period, the annual episodes of pneumococcal bacteremia decreased from 7.2 episodes to 2.3 episodes per 100,000 emergency department visits in 1999. However, it increased to 2.8 episodes in 2004 and to 3.64 episodes per 100,000 emergency department visits in 2005. The rate of invasive disease due to serotype 19F in the conjugate vaccine has increased.

  • Pneumonia: S pneumoniae is the most common bacterial cause of childhood pneumonia, especially in children younger than 5 years.

  • Meningitis/CNS infections: S pneumoniae is the most common cause of bacterial meningitis in children. Yearly incidence in all age groups is 1-2 cases per 100,000 population.

  • Osteomyelitis/septic arthritis: Pneumococci are responsible for fewer than 10% of all cases of osteomyelitis and septic arthritis.

Other unusual infections caused by pneumococci are sporadic.

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