The incidence of childhood respiratory infections in Greenland is among the highest globally. We performed a population-based study of 352 Greenlandic children aged 0-6 years aiming to describe rates and risk factors for carriage of four key bacteria associated with respiratory infections, their antimicrobial susceptibility and inter-bacterial associations. Nasopharyngeal swabs were tested for Streptococcus pneumoniae grouped by serotypes included (VT) or not included (NVT) in the 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, non-typable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi), Staphylococcus aureus and Moraxella catarrhalis. S. pneumoniae was detected from age 2 weeks with a peak carriage rate of 60% in 2-year-olds. Young age and having siblings attending a daycare institution were associated with pneumococcal carriage. Overall co-colonization with ≥2 of the studied bacteria was 52%. NTHi showed a positive association with NVT pneumococci and M. catarrhalis, respectively, M. catarrhalis was positively associated with S. pneumoniae, particular VT pneumococci, whereas S. aureus were negatively associated with NTHi and M. catarrhalis. Nasopharyngeal bacterial carriage was present unusually early in life and with frequent co-colonization. Domestic crowding increased odds of carriage. Due to important bacterial associations we suggest future surveillance of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine's impact on carriage in Greenland to also include other pathogens.
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© 2016 Cambridge University Press.