In Portugal, the 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13) was commercially available between 2010 and 2015, following a decade of private use of PCV7. We evaluated changes on serotype distribution and antimicrobial susceptibility of pneumococci carried by children living in two regions of Portugal (one urban and one rural). Three epidemiological periods were defined: pre-PCV13 (2009–2010), early-PCV13 (2011–2012), and late-PCV13 (2015–2016). Nasopharyngeal samples (n = 4,232) were obtained from children 0–6 years old attending day-care centers. Private use of PCVs was very high in both regions (>75%). Pneumococcal carriage remained stable and high over time (62.1%, 62.4% and 61.6% (p = 0.909) in the urban region; and 59.8%, 62.8%, 59.5% (p = 0.543) in the rural region). Carriage of PCV7 serotypes remained low (5.3%, 7.8% and 4.3% in the urban region; and 2.5%, 3.7% and 4.8% in the rural region). Carriage of PCV13 serotypes not targeted by PCV7 decreased in both the urban (16.4%, 7.3%, and 1.6%; p < 0.001) and rural regions (13.2%, 7.8%, and 1.9%; p < 0.001). This decline was mostly attributable to serotype 19A (14.1%, 4.4% and 1.3% in the urban region; and 11.1%, 3.6% and 0.8% in the rural region, both p < 0.001). Serotype 3 declined over time in the urban region (10.1%, 4.4%, 0.8%; p < 0.001) and had no obvious trend in the rural region (4.2%, 6.7%, 2.4%; p = 0.505). Serotype 6C decreased in both regions while serotypes 11D, 15A/B/C, 16F, 21, 22F, 23A/B, 24F, 35F, and NT were the most prevalent in the late-PCV13 period. Intermediate resistance to penicillin and non-susceptibility to erythromycin decreased significantly in both regions (19.5%, 13.3%, and 9.3%; and 25.4%, 25.9%, and 13.4%; both p < 0.001, respectively in the urban region; and 12.4%, 11.1%, and 2.8% (p < 0.001); and 15.3%, 14.7%, and 9.2% (p = 0.037), respectively, in the rural region). In conclusion, private use of PCV13 led to significant changes on the pneumococcal population carried by children in Portugal.
- Antibiotic resistance
- Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine
- Streptococcus pneumoniae