Background: The 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7) was introduced to prevent invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) in Western Australian (WA) Aboriginal people in 2001. PCV13 replaced PCV7 in July 2011, covering six additional pneumococcal serotypes; however, IPD rates remained high in Aboriginal people in WA. Upper respiratory tract pneumococcal carriage can precede IPD, and PCVs alter serotype distribution.
Methods: To assess the impact of PCV13 introduction, identify emerging serotypes, and assess risk factors for carriage, nasopharyngeal swabs and information on demographic characteristics, health, medication and living conditions from Aboriginal children and adults across WA from August 2008 to November 2014 were collected. Bacteria were cultured using selective media and pneumococcal isolates were serotyped by Quellung reaction. Risk factors were analysed by multivariable logistic regression.
Results: One thousand five hundred swabs pre-and 1385 swabs post-PCV13 introduction were collected. Pneumococcal carriage was detected in 66.8% of children 0.05). The most common serotypes post-PCV13 were 11A (prevalence 4.0%), 15B (3.5%), 16F (3.5%), and 19F (3.2%).
Risk of detection of pneumococcal carriage increased until age 12 months (odds ratio [OR] 4.19, 95% confidence interval [CI] 2.39-7.33), with nasal discharge (OR 2.49 [95% CI 2.00-3.09]), residence in a remote community (OR 2.21 [95% CI 1.672.92]) and household crowding (OR 1.36 [95% CI 1.11-1.67]). Recent antibiotic use was negatively associated with pneumococcal carriage (OR 0.48 [95% CI 0.33-0.69]). Complete resistance to penicillin was present among isolates of serotypes 19A (6.0%), 19F (2.3%) and non-serotypeable isolates (1.9%). Serotype 23F and newly emerged serotype 7B isolates showed high rates of resistance to cotrimoxazole, erythromycin and tetracycline (86.9%, 86.9%, 82.0%, respectively for 23F, 100.0%, 100.0% and 93.3% for 7B).
Conclusion: Since PCV13 replaced PCV7, carriage of PCV13-non-PCV7 serotypes decreased significantly among children <5 years old, those most likely to have received PCV13, and to a lesser extent in older people. Known risk factors for carriage including crowding and young age remain in the Aboriginal population.