Antimicrobial resistance is an emerging public health concern. Ten-valent pneumococcal vaccine (PCV10) was introduced in Pakistan’s Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI) in 2012 as a 3 1 0 schedule without catchup. From 2014 to 2018, children,2 years were randomly selected in two rural union councils of Matiari, Pakistan. Nasopharyngeal swabs were collected using standard WHO guidelines by trained staff and processed at Infectious Disease Research Laboratory at The Aga Khan University, Karachi using culture on sheep blood agar and Multiplex PCR methods described by CDC, USA. Pneumococcal isolates were identified by optochin sensitivity and bile solubility tests. Isolates were then tested for antimicrobial susceptibility by standard Kirby-Bauer disk-diffusion method on Mueller-Hinton Agar (MHA) with 5% sheep blood agar as per Clinical & Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI) recommendations. Of 3140 children enrolled, pneumococcal isolates were detected in 2370 (75%). Vaccine coverage improved from 41% to 68.4%. Out of the 2370 isolates, 88.4%, 37.6% and 25% were resistant to cotrimoxazole, tetracycline and erythromycin, respectively. There was no resistance to penicillin, ceftriaxone, and vancomycin. For erythromycin, resistance increased from 20% in 2014/15 to 30.8% in 2017/18 and for tetracycline it increased from 34.9% to 41.8% both of which were explained by an increase in prevalence of serotype 19A. Pneumococcal isolates were susceptible to penicillin, ceftriaxone, and vancomycin. They were largely resistant to cotrimoxazole and tetracycline. There was an increase in erythromycin and tetracycline resistance attributed to increasing prevalence of serotype 19A. Pneumococcal isolates from carriage and invasive disease should be closely monitored for antimicrobial susceptibility. IMPORTANCE Antimicrobial resistance is an emerging public health concern particularly in low- and middle-income countries where there is poor regulation and easy availability of antibiotics. This is the first study from Pakistan to report antimicrobial resistance patterns of pneumococcus after vaccine introduction in the community. Pakistan was the first South-Asian country to introduce PCV10 in its Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI) in 2012 as a 3 1 0 schedule without catchup. In this study, we describe the PCV10 impact on antimicrobial resistance patterns of pneumococcal nasopharyngeal carriage in children younger than 2 years of age in a rural district in Pakistan after the introduction of the vaccine.
- Antimicrobial resistance
- Nasopharyngeal carriage