Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

BACKGROUND: Pneumococcal disease is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in young children in Nepal, and currently available pneumococcal conjugate vaccines offer moderate coverage of invasive disease isolates. METHODS: A prevalence study of children aged 1.5 to 24 months in urban and rural Nepal was conducted. In the urban group, nasopharyngeal swabs (NPS) were transported using silica desiccant packages (SDP) with delayed processing (2 weeks), or skim-milk-tryptone-glucose-glycerin (STGG) with immediate processing (within 8 hours). Pneumococcal nasopharyngeal carriage prevalence, serogroup/type distribution and isolate genotypes (as defined by multilocus sequence typing) were determined. RESULTS: 1101 children were enrolled into the study: 574 in the urban group and 527 in the rural group. Overall carriage prevalence based on culture from specimens transported and stored in STGG was 58.7% (337/574), compared to 40.9% (235/574) in SDP. There was concordance of detection of pneumococcus in 67% of samples. Using the SDP method, pneumococcal carriage prevalence was higher in the rural population (69.2%; 364/526) compared to the urban population (40.9%; 235/574). Serogroup/type distribution varied with geographical location. Over half of the genotypes identified in both the urban and rural pneumococcal populations were novel. CONCLUSION: The combination of delayed culture and transport using SDP underestimates the prevalence of pneumococcal carriage; however, in remote areas, this method could still provide a useful estimate of carriage prevalence and serogroup/type distribution. Vaccine impact is unpredictable in a setting with novel genotypes and limited serotype coverage as described here. Consequently, continued surveillance of pneumococcal isolates from carriage and disease in Nepali children following the planned introduction of pneumococcal conjugate vaccines introduction will be essential.

Original publication




Journal article


PLoS One

Publication Date





Carrier State, Child, Preschool, Female, Genotyping Techniques, Humans, Infant, Male, Nepal, Pneumococcal Vaccines, Prevalence, Rural Population, Serotyping, Specimen Handling, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Time Factors, Urban Population