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Hoofddorp, Netherlands

van Deursen A.M.M.,University Utrecht | van den Bergh M.R.,University Utrecht | Sanders E.A.M.,University Utrecht | Bruin J.,Spaarne Gasthuis Academie | And 5 more authors.
Vaccine | Year: 2016

Colonization of the upper respiratory tract by Streptococcus pneumoniae is considered prerequisite for pneumococcal disease. Despite high rates of pneumococcal disease in elderly, pneumococcal carriage rates are usually below 5% when detected by the conventional culture method. We assessed pneumococcal carriage in 330 asymptomatic community-dwelling elderly aged 65 years and older. While pneumococci were cultured from 25 (8%) individuals, 65 (20%) elderly were positive for the pneumococcus-specific lytA gene when tested by quantitative-PCR, increasing the overall number of carriers to 75 (22%). Significantly more oropharyngeal samples were pneumococci-positive (18% versus 10%, p< 0.001) when tested by the molecular method as compared to nasopharyngeal samples. Our findings indicate that pneumococcal carriage in elderly is higher than previously reported with up to 1 in 5 asymptomatic community-dwelling elderly positive for pneumococcal carriage, when detected by qPCR. The detection of pneumococci by conventional culture alone, greatly underestimates S. pneumoniae colonization in elderly. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. Source

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