Invasive pneumococcal disease in Western Australia: emergence of serotype 19A

Carolien M Giele, Anthony D Keil, Deborah Lehmann and Paul G Van Buynder
Med J Aust 2009; 190 (3): . || doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2009.tb02332.x
Published online: 2 February 2009

To the Editor: The pattern of invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) in Western Australia varies from that described in northern Queensland in a recent article by Hanna and colleagues.1 Their study showed a decline in IPD caused by serotypes included in the 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (7vPCV) among Indigenous children and adults after the introduction of the vaccine in north Queensland. Over the same period, there was an increase among Indigenous adults in cases of IPD caused by serotypes not covered by the vaccine. However, the authors reported that there had been no increase in IPD caused by serotype 19A, a non-7vPCV serotype that has been increasingly predominant in other populations.2,3 In contrast to the disease pattern in north Queensland, serotype 19A has become the predominant disease-causing serotype in Western Australia, particularly among non-Indigenous people.

  • 1 Communicable Disease Control Directorate, Western Australian Department of Health, Perth, WA.
  • 2 Department of Microbiology, Princess Margaret Hospital, Perth, WA.
  • 3 Telethon Institute for Child Health Research, Perth, WA.

  • 1. Hanna JN, Humphreys JL, Murphy DM. Invasive pneumococcal disease in Indigenous people in north Queensland: an update, 2005–2007. Med J Aust 2008; 189: 43-46. <eMJA full text> <MJA full text>
  • 2. Singleton RJ, Hennessy TW, Bulkow LR, et al. Invasive pneumococcal disease caused by nonvaccine serotypes among Alaska Native children with high levels of 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine coverage. JAMA 2007; 297: 1784-1792.
  • 3. Moore MR, Gertz RE Jr, Woodbury RL, et al. Population snapshot of emergent Streptococcus pneumoniae serotype 19A in the United States, 2005. J Infect Dis 2008; 197: 1016-1027.
  • 4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Emergence of antimicrobial resistant serotype 19A Streptococcus pneumoniae — Massachusetts, 2001–2006. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2007; 56: 1077-1080.


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