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01.12.2017 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2017 Open Access

BMC Infectious Diseases 1/2017

Serotype distribution and antibiotic resistance of Streptococcus pneumoniae isolates from 17 Chinese cities from 2011 to 2016

BMC Infectious Diseases > Ausgabe 1/2017
Chunjiang Zhao, Zongbo Li, Feifei Zhang, Xiaobing Zhang, Ping Ji, Ji Zeng, Bijie Hu, Zhidong Hu, Kang Liao, Hongli Sun, Rong Zhang, Bin Cao, Chao Zhuo, Wei Jia, Yaning Mei, Yunzhuo Chu, Xuesong Xu, Qing Yang, Yan Jin, Quan Fu, Xiuli Xu, Hongling Li, Lijun Wang, Yuxing Ni, Hongjie Liang, Hui Wang
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Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi: 10.​1186/​s12879-017-2880-0) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.



Streptococcus pneumoniae, the leading pathogen of bacterial infections in infants and the elderly, is responsible for pneumococcal diseases with severe morbidity and mortality. Emergence of drug-resistant strains presented new challenges for treatment and prevention. Vaccination has proven to be an effective means of preventing pneumococcal infection worldwide. Detailed epidemiological information of antibiotic susceptibilities and serotype distribution will be of great help to the management of pneumococcal infections.


A total of 881 S. pneumoniae isolates were collected from patients at 23 teaching hospitals in 17 different cities from 2011 to 2016. The main specimen types included sputum, blood, broncho-alveolar lavage fluid, pharyngeal swabs, and cerebrospinal fluid. Minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) were determined using the agar dilution method. Capsular serotypes were identified using latex agglutination and quellung reaction test. Molecular epidemiology was investigated using multilocus sequence typing.


S. pneumoniae isolates were highly resistant to macrolides, tetracycline, and trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole. The rate of resistance to penicillin was 51.6% (oral breakpoint). However, levofloxacin and moxifloxacin maintained excellent antimicrobial activity and all of the isolated strains were susceptible to vancomycin.
Twenty-two serotypes were identified among the 881 isolates. Prevalent serotypes were 19F (25.7%), 19A (14.0%), 15 (6.8%), 6B (3.6%), 6A (3.0%), and 17 (2.8%). The overall vaccine coverage rates for 7- and 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccines were 37.5% and 58.3%, respectively. Vaccine coverage rates in young children and economically underdeveloped regions were higher than those in older adults and developed regions. Vaccine-covered serotypes demonstrated higher resistance compared with uncovered serotypes.
Molecular epidemiological typing demonstrated that S. pneumoniae showed significant clonal dissemination and that ST271 (120, 28.3%), ST320 (73, 17.2%) and ST81 (27, 6.6%) were the major STs.


High resistance to clinical routine antibiotics was observed for all 881 S. pneumoniae strains. Drug resistance varied among different serotypes and age groups. Prevalent serotypes among the isolates were 19F, 19A, 15, 6B, 6A, and 17. Community-acquired strains should also be included in future studies to gain a better understanding of the prevalence and resistance of S. pneumoniae in China.
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