Invasive pneumococcal disease associated with high case fatality in India

Kurien Thomas, Lalitha Mukkai Kesavan, Balaji Veeraraghavan, Sudha Jasmine, John Jude, Mitra Shubankar, Poorva Kulkarni, Mark Steinhoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Objective: To study the seroepidemiology and antimicrobial resistance pattern of invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) in older subjects who are admitted to hospitals in India. Study Design and Setting: Prospective surveillance of IPD in patients older than 18 years in seven large academic teaching hospitals in India from 1993 to 2008. All subjects who had Streptococcus pneumoniae isolated from normally sterile body fluids or were antigen positive in cerebrospinal fluid, ascitic fluid, and pleural fluid were identified as IPD cases in the study. Serotype/group (STG) and minimum inhibitory concentration for penicillin, chloramphenicol, co-trimoxazole (trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole), erythromycin, and cefotaxime were determined. Results: A total of 1,037 adult subjects with suspected invasive bacterial infection were recruited in the study. S pneumoniae was identified from normally sterile body fluids in 449 (43.3%) subjects. Meningitis (34.3%) and pneumonia (33.9%) were the most common clinical conditions associated with IPD. The case fatality was 25-30% across all age groups. Penicillin resistance was low at 2.7% overall. Resistance to co-trimoxazole was noted to be high and increasing in the study period from 42.9% in 1993 to 85.2% in 2008 (P = 0.001). The most common STG was serotype 1, which accounted for 22.9% of all isolates. The 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine covered 83.3% of the STGs (49/54; 95% confidence interval: 79.7, 96.9) for patients older than 60 years. Conclusion: IPD continues to be a problem in India and is associated with high case fatality in spite of treatment in the hospital setting. Penicillin resistance is currently low in India. More than 80% of invasive STGs causing disease in the elderly in India are included in the formulation of polysaccharide pneumococcal vaccine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)36-43
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Clinical Epidemiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2013


  • 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine
  • Antimicrobial resistance
  • Invasive pneumococcal disease
  • PPV23
  • S pneumoniae
  • STG
  • Serotype group
  • Surveillance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology


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