Unravelling the Ecology of Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria in the Nasopharynx

  • Bambos M. CharalambousEmail author
  • Ndeky M. Oriyo
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 642)


To study the dynamics and diversity of pneumococcal carriage and antibiotic resistance, a more thorough and systematic approach has been employed compared with routine surveillance of serotype and anti­biotic resistance. Up to ten pneumococcal isolates from pernasal (nose) and oropharyngeal (throat) sites are isolated and characterised. Our carriage studies have revealed a diverse community of pneumococci with multiple strains colonising the nasopharynx of children. In Tanzanian children less than 6 years of age, up to six serotypes and up to six different antibiotic sensitivities (as distinguished by at least a fourfold difference in the minimum inhibitory concentration) have been found. Serotyping by the Quelling reaction is prone to inaccuracy and requires expensive serological reagents. To improve the accuracy and reduce the costs, an alternative capsular typing DNA-based method has been developed. This chapter will describe the methods we have employed with emphasis on the capsular typing method.

Key words

Streptococcus pneumoniae Capsular typing Nasopharyngeal colonisation Antibiotic resistance Diversity 



The authors wish to thank Dr. Steve Platt for his developing the novel Bionumerics script for the cluster analysis of in vitro and in silico data. We also thank Dr. Claire Jenkins for the data analysis shown in Figs. 2 and 3.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Clinical Microbiology Department of InfectionUniversity College LondonLondonUK
  2. 2.Clinical LaboratoryKilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre, Tumaini UniversityMoshiTanzania

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