Streptococcus pneumoniae is a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Pneumococcal strains are classified according to their capsular polysaccharide and more than 90 different serotypes are currently known.In this project, three distinct groups of pneumococcal carriage isolates from Ghana were investigated; isolates from healthy children in Tamale and isolates from both healthy and children attending the outpatient department at a hospital in Accra. The isolates were previously identified and characterized by Gram staining, serotyping and susceptibility to penicillin. In this study, isolates of the common serotype 19F were further investigated by Multi-Locus Sequence Typing (MLST).Overall, 14 different Sequence Types (STs) were identified by MLST, of which nine were novel based on the international MLST database. Two clones within serotype 19F seem to circulate in Ghana, a known ST (ST 4194) and a novel ST (ST 9090). ST 9090 was only found in healthy children in Accra, whereas ST 4194 was found equally in all children studied. In the MLST database, other isolates of ST 4194 were also associated with serotype 19F, and these isolates came from other West African countries. The majority of isolates were penicillin intermediate resistant.In conclusion, two clones within serotype 19F were found to be dominating in pneumococcal carriage in Accra and Tamale in Ghana. Furthermore, it seems as though the clonal distribution of serotype 19F may be different from what is currently known in Ghana in that many new clones were identified. This supports the importance of continued monitoring of pneumococcal carriage in Ghana and elsewhere when vaccines, e.g., PCV-13, have been introduced to monitor the possible future spread of antimicrobial resistant clones.
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