Prevalence of PspA families and pilus islets among Streptococcus pneumoniae colonizing children before and after universal use of pneumococcal conjugate vaccines in Brazil

  • Patricia Alice Knupp-Pereira
  • Nayara Torres Cardoso Marques
  • Lúcia Martins Teixeira
  • Helvécio Cardoso Corrêa Póvoa
  • Felipe Piedade Gonçalves NevesEmail author
Bacterial and Fungal Pathogenesis - Research Paper


In 2010, the 10-valent (PCV10) and 13-valent (PCV13) pneumococcal conjugate vaccines were introduced in Brazil to immunize children, resulting in serotype replacement. We analyzed 253 carriage isolates recovered from children aged <6 years in Brazil, including 124 and 129 isolates from the pre-PCV10/13 (December 2009–July 2010) and post-PCV10/13 (September–December 2014) periods, respectively, to investigate the prevalence of PspA families and pilus islets, potential vaccine candidates. Serotypes and resistance profiles were previously characterized. We used PCR to type PspA families (Fam1-3) and pilus islets (PI-1 and PI-2). We identified the PspA family of 130 (51.4%) isolates. PspA families 1, 2, and 3 were identified in 12.2%, 38.7%, and 0.4% of the isolates, respectively. Eighteen (58.1%) Fam1 isolates were serogroup 6. Nine (81.8%) of 11 serotype 14 isolates were Fam2. Fam1 isolates resistant to penicillin (50%), erythromycin (43.7%), clindamycin (31.2%), and chloramphenicol (6.2%) were only found after PCV10/13 introduction. Resistance among Fam2 isolates was higher in the post-PCV10/13 period to erythromycin (1.8% vs. 18.6%), clindamycin (0 vs. 13.9%), and tetracycline (10.9% vs. 16.3%). PI-I was detected in 42 (16.6%) isolates. Fourteen (56%) of 25 serotype 15B/C and nine (81.8%) of 11 serotype 14 isolates had PI-1 (p < 0.01). Eight (3.2%) isolates had PI-2, and six (75%) were serogroup 19. Five (2%) serogroup 19 isolates had both PI-1 and PI-2. We found associations between serogroups/serotypes, PspA families, and pilus islets, but distribution of PspA families and pilus islets was similar in both periods. After universal vaccination, we observed higher antimicrobial resistance frequencies, regardless PspA or pilus types.


Streptococcus pneumoniae PspA Pilus Vaccine 



The authors thank all healthcare institutions and professionals that contributed to this study, especially Dr. Carlos Campbell and Dr. Paulo Monnerat.

Financial information

This work was supported by the Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq) via Science without Borders program (grant number 234873/2014-0); Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES)–Finance Code 001; Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (FAPERJ)–grant number E-26/203.164/2017; and Pró-Reitoria de Pesquisa, Pós-Graduação e Inovação da Universidade Federal Fluminense (PROPPi/UFF).

Compliance with ethical standards

This study was approved by the Ethics Committee of the Universidade Federal Fluminense (CAAE 26823614.2.0000.5243 and CAAE 26823614.2.0000.5243).

Conflict of interests

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interests.


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Copyright information

© Sociedade Brasileira de Microbiologia 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Patricia Alice Knupp-Pereira
    • 1
    • 2
  • Nayara Torres Cardoso Marques
    • 2
  • Lúcia Martins Teixeira
    • 3
  • Helvécio Cardoso Corrêa Póvoa
    • 1
  • Felipe Piedade Gonçalves Neves
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Instituto de Saúde de Nova FriburgoUniversidade Federal FluminenseNova FriburgoBrazil
  2. 2.Instituto BiomédicoUniversidade Federal FluminenseNiteróiBrazil
  3. 3.Instituto de MicrobiologiaUniversidade Federal do Rio de JaneiroRio de JaneiroBrazil

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