Surveillance of pneumococcal serotype 1 carriage during an outbreak of serotype 1 invasive pneumococcal disease in central Australia 2010–2012
1 Menzies School of Health Research, Charles Darwin University, Darwin, NT, Australia
2 Department of Health, Centre for Disease Control, Darwin, NT, Australia
3 Flinders University Northern Territory Clinical School, Adelaide, NT, Australia
4 Alice Springs Hospital Emergency Department, Alice Springs, NT, Australia
5 Forensic & Scientific Services, Queensland Health, Brisbane, QLD, Australia
BMC Infectious Diseases 2013, 13:409 doi:10.1186/1471-2334-13-409Published: 3 September 2013
An outbreak of serotype 1 invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) occurred in Central Australia from October 2010 to the latter part of 2012. Surveillance of serotype 1 carriage was conducted to determine epidemiological features of asymptomatic carriage that could potentially be driving the outbreak.
130 patients and accompanying persons presenting at Alice Springs Hospital Emergency Department consented to nasopharyngeal swab (NPS) collection. NPS were processed by standard methods, including culture, pneumococcal lytA quantitative real-time PCR, serotype 1-specific real-time PCR and multi-locus sequence typing (MLST).
Pneumococcal carriage was detected in 16% of participants. Carriage was highest in the under 10 year olds from remote communities surrounding Alice Springs (75%). Four NPS were positive for serotype 1 DNA by PCR; 3 were also culture-positive for serotype 1 pneumococci. Serotype 1 isolates had atypical colony morphology on primary culture. All serotype 1 carriers were healthy children 5 to 8 years of age from remote communities. By MLST, serotype 1 isolates were ST306, as were IPD isolates associated with this outbreak.
During an outbreak of serotype 1 ST306 IPD, carriage of the outbreak strain was detected in 3% NPS collected. All carriers were healthy children 5 to 8 years of age.