Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Pneumococcal disease: more cases but fewer deaths

07.05.2012
The vaccine given to children to immunise against serious pneumococcal disease does not offer full protection, reveals research from the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, finding that the number of cases diagnosed has tripled over the past 50 years.

Each year an estimated 1 million children worldwide die as a result of pneumococcal disease. Worst affected are those in poor countries, but pneumococcal bacteria cause disease and suffering in all age groups and in all countries, including Sweden.

There are currently two types of active vaccine: polysaccharide vaccines, which protect against more types of pneumococcal bacteria but cannot be given to children under the age of two, and conjugated vaccines, which can be given to infants but protect against fewer types.

In his thesis, Erik Backhaus, infection specialist at Skövde Hospital and doctoral student at the University of Gothenburg’s Sahlgrenska Academy, looks at all cases of serious pneumococcal disease in children and adults in the Västra Götaland region of Sweden between 1998 and 2001. His studies show that the latest conjugated vaccines theoretically offer protection against around 70% of infections. “But around 95% of infections are caused by serotypes covered by the polysaccharide vaccine,” says Backhaus. “This vaccine cannot be administered to children under two years of age, which means that it cannot be used in those who need it most.”

Risk of death is age-related
In the worst case, the bacteria cause serious disease from which around 10% of patients die within a month of diagnosis. Erik Backhaus shows in his thesis that the risk of dying depends partly on age and partly on underlying medical conditions, but also that the risk is higher for men than women. Interestingly there are also geographical variations: fewer serious pneumococcal infections are diagnosed in the over-80s in the Gothenburg area than in other parts of the Västra Götaland region.

“This may be due to different routines for admitting patients from nursing homes to hospital and how often blood cultures are performed,” he explains.

More cases, fewer deaths
Over the past 45 years the number of cases of severe pneumococcal disease diagnosed in the Gothenburg area has tripled from 5 to 15 cases per 100,000 inhabitants per year. This is probably because many more blood cultures are performed these days, meaning that more cases are detected. Erik Backhaus’ thesis shows that the risk of dying as a result of serious pneumococcal disease has fallen sharply since the 1960s, especially among children and young adults.

It is hoped that the recently introduced pneumococcal vaccination as part of the standard child immunisation programme will reduce the number of infections among both children and adults.

The thesis “Invasive Pneumococcal Infections” was successfully defended at the Sahlgrenska Academy’s Institute of Biomedicine on 13 January.

PNEUMOCOCCAL BACTERIA
Pneumococcal bacteria belong to the Streptococcus genus and are the most common cause of bacterial respiratory infections. There are 90 different types of pneumococcal bacteria, of which ten are dominant in small children. The diseases caused range from uncomplicated upper respiratory tract infections through pneumonia of varying severity to serious and sometimes life-threatening conditions such as meningitis and septicaemia. The risk of disease is highest among the very young, the very old and those suffering from various chronic diseases.

For more information, please contact:
Erik Backhaus, doctoral student, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg
E-mail: erik.backhaus@vgregion.se

Helena Aaberg | idw
Further information:
http://bit.ly/yQRIhi
http://www.gu.se

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Laser activated gold pyramids could deliver drugs, DNA into cells without harm
24.03.2017 | Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

nachricht What does congenital Zika syndrome look like?
24.03.2017 | University of California - San Diego

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Argon is not the 'dope' for metallic hydrogen

24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Astronomers find unexpected, dust-obscured star formation in distant galaxy

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Gravitational wave kicks monster black hole out of galactic core

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>