Table of Contents

HK J Paediatr (New Series)
Vol 6. No. 2, 2001

HK J Paediatr (New Series) 2001;6:130

Proceedings of The First Current Topic in Infectious Diseases

Resistance in Pediatric Isolates of Pneumococci. Results from a Territory-wide Carriage Study

Susan SS Chiu

HK J Paediatr (new series) 2001;6:127-132

Proceedings of The First Current Topic in Infectious Diseases: Consensus Meeting on Conjugate Vaccines of the Center of Infection
Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong (Selected Abstracts)

Resistance to penicillin and multiple antibiotics among Streptococcus pneumoniae strains is becoming increasingly problematic worldwide and in Asia.14,15 To determine the prevalence of carriage of these penicillin-nonsusceptible Streptococcus pneumoniae isolate in young children, we obtained nasopharyngeal swab specimens from 1978 children (ages, two to six years) attending 79 daycare centers or kindergartens. Three hundred and eighty-three strains of Streptococcus pneumoniae were isolated from these children. Fifty-eight percent of these isolates had reduced susceptibility to penicillin; 123 (32.1%) were intermediate and 100 (26.1%) were resistant. Very high MICs to penicillin (MIC >2 μg/ml) and cefotaxime (MIC >2 μg/ml) were found in 3.3% and 0.3% of the isolates, respectively. The isolates also demonstrated high rates of resistance to other antibiotics (51.2% to cefaclor, 50.2% to cefuroxime, 42.8% to cefotaxime, 80.7% to trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, 77% to erythromycin, 60% to clindamycin and 33.7% to chloramphenicol). No isolate was resistant to quinolone. However, 58.7% were resistant to multiple antibiotics, with extremely high prevalence of 79% in penicillin resistant isolates. Risk factors for the carriage of penicillin-nonsusceptible Streptococcus pneumoniae were multiple physician visits in the preceding three months, and use of antibiotics by the individual or by household members in the preceding three months. In the logistic regression analysis, only the use of antibiotics in the preceding three months was an independent risk (P=0.004, OR 2, 95% CI 1.2-3.2). This study demonstrated the high prevalence of antibiotic resistant Streptococcus pneumoniae in healthy young children in the community in Hong Kong.

Method and Process of Consensus Building

The consensus meeting on Consensus meeting on conjugate vaccines was held on February 17, 2001, as the first current topic in infectious diseases that was organized by the Centre of Infection, the University of Hong Kong. A panel of experts from the fields of Internal Medicine, Clinical Microbiology, Internal Medicine, Paediatrics and Public Health were provided with the latest scientific papers1-8 and were invited to speak and discuss on various aspects concerning the topic.

After the formal presentation, panel discussion was held. All speakers, invited discussants from various aspects of the medical fields and audiences actively participated in the discussion with further elaboration on issues around S. pneumoniae and H. influenzae disease burden, antimicrobial resistance and conjugate vaccine.

Finally, conclusions were drawn on the basis of the current scientific information and views expressed by the panel and other participants. Drafts in progress and final copies of the manuscript were distributed to panel for comments before submission for publication.

Consensus Panel Members

Daniel CS Chiu, Pediatrician in private practice
Susan SS Chiu, Assistant Professor, Department of Paediatrics, The University of Hong Kong
CB Chow, Consultant, Department of Paediatrics, Princess Margaret Hospital
PL Ho, Associate Professor, Department of Microbiology, The University of Hong Kong
YL Lau, Chair Professor in Paediatrics, Department of Paediatrics, The University of Hong Kong
CW Leung, Consultant, Department of Paediatrics, Princess Margaret Hospital
Dominic NC Tsang, Consultant, Department of Clinical Pathology, Queen Elizabeth Hospital
Kenneth WT Tsang, Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, University of Hong Kong.
Thomas HF Tsang, Community Physician, Department of Health
Samson SY Wong, Assistant Professor, Department of Microbiology, University of Hong Kong.
YH Yang, Professor, Beijing Children's Hospital, Beijing
KY Yuen, Chair Professor in Infectious Diseases, Department of Microbiology, The University of Hong Kong

Consensus Statements

Disease burden of paediatric Haemophilus influenzae type b infections in Hong Kong

1. The incidence of Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) diseases in Hong Kong appears to be low. Multiple confounding factors, such as prior antibiotic usage, might be the causes for the apparent low recorded prevalence.

2. Further study to collect epidemiological data in Hong Kong would be difficult due to the following factors:

a) Some children might have been given Hib vaccination on an individual basis.

b) There are quite a number of patients taking antibiotics prior to collection of specimens for cultures and the recovery rate of any microorganisms in these situations is relatively low.

3. Gaps in existing data should be addressed in future studies using new research methodology, such as the WHO rapid assessment tool.

Use of conjugate Haemophilus influenzae type b vaccine

1. Conjugate Hib vaccine has proven safety and efficacy in prevention of invasive Hib disease.

2. Thorough cost-effective/benefit/utility analysis and comparison of existing program would be very helpful in supporting recommendation for universal vaccination in this locality. Broader discussion/consultation on what constitute the "acceptable" cost is required.

Disease burden of pneumococcal infections in Hong Kong

1. Disease burden of pneumococcal disease is still unclear and further study would be needed for different at-risk groups.

2. Penicillin-resistant and multiple antibiotic-resistant pneumococci are a major problem in Hong Kong.

Use of conjugate pneumococcal vaccine

1. The heptavalent conjugate vaccine provides good coverage of the serotypes causing invasive pneumococcal disease in Hong Kong at present.

2. Conjugate pneumococcal vaccine is effective in decreasing vaccine strain carriage, and preventing invasive pneumococcal disease in young children from published experience.


The meeting was sponsored by the Hong Kong Paediatric Foundation.


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