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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(1), 105; doi:10.3390/ijms18010105

Pneumococcal Colonization in the Familial Context and Implications for Anti-Pneumococcal Immunization in Adults: Results from the BINOCOLO Project in Sicily

1
Department of Health Promotion Sciences and Mother-Child Care “G. D’Alessandro”—Hygiene Section, University of Palermo, 90127 Palermo, Italy
2
Clinical Epidemiology Unit, University Hospital “Paolo Giaccone”, 90127 Palermo, Italy
Membership of the BINOCOLO Group is provided in the Acknowledgments.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Susanna Esposito
Received: 8 November 2016 / Revised: 29 December 2016 / Accepted: 3 January 2017 / Published: 6 January 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pneumonia: Pathogenesis, Diagnostics, Therapeutics, and Prevention)
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Abstract

The spread of Streptococcus pneumoniae within families has been scarcely investigated so far. This feasibility study aimed to estimate the prevalence of pneumococcal carriage in school-aged children and co-habiting relatives and to explore the potential link between the family environment and the sharing of pneumococcal serotypes covered by the vaccine. Oropharyngeal samples of 146 subjects belonging to 36 different family groups were molecularly tested for pneumococcal detection and serotyping. The overall prevalence of pneumococcal carriage was 65.8% (n = 96/146), whereas it was higher among schoolchildren (77.8%, n = 28/36); subjects of seven years of age had the highest odds of being colonized (odds ratio, OR = 5.176; p = 0.145). Pneumococcal serotypes included in the 13-valent conjugate vaccine formulation were largely detected in the study population and multiple serotypes colonization was considerable. Factors relating to a close proximity among people at the family level were statistically associated with pneumococcal carriage (OR = 2.121; p = 0.049), as well as active smoking habit with a clear dose-response effect (ORs = 1.017–3.326). About half of family clusters evidenced similar patterns of carried pneumococcal serotypes and the odds of sustaining a high level of intrafamilial sharing increased with household size (ORs = 1.083–5.000). This study highlighted the potential role played by the family environment in sustaining both the circulation and horizontal transmission of pneumococcus. View Full-Text
Keywords: Streptococcus pneumoniae; conjugate vaccine; serotypes; schoolchildren; family; carriage; colonization; horizontal transmission; real-time PCR Streptococcus pneumoniae; conjugate vaccine; serotypes; schoolchildren; family; carriage; colonization; horizontal transmission; real-time PCR
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Tramuto, F.; Amodio, E.; Calamusa, G.; Restivo, V.; Costantino, C.; Vitale, F.; on behalf of the BINOCOLO Group. Pneumococcal Colonization in the Familial Context and Implications for Anti-Pneumococcal Immunization in Adults: Results from the BINOCOLO Project in Sicily. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18, 105.

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