Pneumococcal carriage among children aged 4 – 12 years in Angola 4 years after the introduction of a pneumococcal conjugate vaccine

Fabian Uddén, Matuba Filipe, Hans Christian Slotved, Linda Yamba-Yamba, Kurt Fuursted, Palmira Pintar Kuatoko, Måns Larsson, Jonas Bjurgert, Viktor Månsson, Tuula Pelkonen, Åke Reimer, Kristian Riesbeck*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review


Children in Angola are affected by a high burden of disease caused by pneumococcal infections. The 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13) was introduced in the childhood immunization programme in 2013 but the serotype distribution of Streptococcus pneumoniae and antimicrobial susceptibility patterns are unknown. We did a cross-sectional nasopharyngeal carriage study in Luanda and Saurimo, Angola (PCV13 3rd dose coverage 67% and 84%, respectively) during November to December 2017 comprising 940 children aged 4–12 years. The main objective was to assess vaccine serotype coverage and antimicrobial susceptibility rates for S. pneumoniae. Our secondary aim was to characterize colonizinig strains of Haemophilus influenzae and Moraxella catarrhalis. Pneumococcal colonization was found in 35% (95% CI 32–39%) of children (n = 332), with 41% of serotypes covered by PCV13. The most common serotypes were 3 (8%), 18C (6%), 23F (6%), 11A (6%), 34 (6%), 19F (5%) and 16 (5%). Carriage of H. influenzae and M. catarrhalis was detected in 13% (95% CI 11–15%) and 15% (95% CI 13–17%) of children, respectively. Non-susceptibility to penicillin was common among pneumococci (40%), particularly among PCV13-included serotypes (50% vs. 33%; p = 0.003), although the median minimal inhibitory concentration was low (0.19 µg/mL, IQR 0.13–0.25 µg/mL). Most pneumococci and H. influenzae were susceptible to amoxicillin (99% and 88%, respectively). Furthermore, resistance to trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole was>70% among all three species. Multidrug-resistant pneumococci (non-susceptible to ≥ 3 antibiotics; 7% [n = 24]) were further studied with whole genome sequencing to investigate clonality as an underlying cause for this phenotype. No clearly dominating clone(s) were, however, detected. The results indicate that continued use of PCV13 may have positive direct and herd effects on pneumococcal infections in Angola as carriage of vaccine serotypes was common in the non-vaccinated age group. Finally, amoxicillin is assessed to be a feasible empirical treatment of respiratory tract infections in Angola.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number50
Pages (from-to)7928-7937
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 25 Nov 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We sincerely thank Mrs. Birgitta Andersson for excellent technical assistance during sample processing and microbiological analyses of isolated bacteria. We thank the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki for preparing STGG tubes used for sample collection, and Instituto Nacional de Investiga??o em Sa?de, Luanda for providing storage of collected samples in Angola. Flights between Luanda and Saurimo, local transportation and accommodation in Lunda Sul were generously provided by the Catoca Mining Company. This work was supported by grants from Foundations of Anna and Edwin Berger, Krapperup-Gyllenstierna and Physiographical Society.

Funding Information:
This work was supported by grants from Foundations of Anna and Edwin Berger, Krapperup-Gyllenstierna and Physiographical Society.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 The Author(s)


  • Angola
  • Haemophilus influenzae
  • Moraxella catarrhalis
  • Nasopharyngeal colonization
  • Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae

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