Background: Pneumococcal carriage is the precursor for development of pneumococcal disease, and is also responsible for transmission of the organism from person-to-person. In Africa, little is known about the pneumococcus in relation to people with HIV infection. The aim of the study was to investigate the epidemiology of pneumococcal carriage among HIV infected children visiting a tertiary hospital in Ghana, including the carriage prevalence, risk factors and serotype distribution. Method: This was a cross sectional study carried out from February to May, 2015 at the HIV Paediatric Clinic of the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra, Ghana. One hundred and eighteen HIV infected children were recruited and nasopharyngeal (NP) swabs were collected from them. Epidemiological data on demographic, household and clinical features of the study participants were also collected. The NP specimens were cultured for Streptococcus pneumoniae and the isolates were serotyped by latex agglutination. The data of the study was analysed using STATA 11 (Strata Corp, College Station, TX, USA). Results: Prevalence of pneumococcal carriage among the HIV infected children was 27.1% (95% CI: 19.1 to 35.1) and the only factor significantly associated with pneumococcal carriage was the presence of respiratory symptoms (OR, 2.63; CI, 1.06-6.53; p = 0.034). The most prevalent pneumococcal serotype among the study participants was serotype 19F (24.4%), followed by 16F (22%). Serotype coverage of the 13-valent Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine in this study was 41.5%. Multiple carriage of pneumococcal serotypes among the positive carriage cases was 34.3%. Conclusion: Pneumococcal carriage occurred in more than a quarter of the study population and was characterized by predominance of non-vaccine serotypes as well as a high prevalence of multiple carriage. Presence of respiratory symptoms appears to be a major determinant of pneumococcal carriage among the study population.
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