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 New malaria analysis method reveals disease severity in minutes
14.08.2017 | University of British Columbia

nachricht New type of blood cells work as indicators of autoimmunity
14.08.2017 | Instituto de Medicina Molecular

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: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Gold shines through properties of nano biosensors

17.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Greenland ice flow likely to speed up: New data assert glaciers move over sediment, which gets more slippery as it gets wetter

17.08.2017 | Earth Sciences

Mars 2020 mission to use smart methods to seek signs of past life

17.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>