Oropharyngeal and nasopharyngeal sampling for the detection of adolescent Streptococcus pneumoniae carriers

Nicola Principi, Leonardo Terranova, Alberto Zampiero, Francesca Manzoni, Laura Senatore, Walter Peves Rios, Susanna Esposito

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Monitoring the dynamics of pneumococcal carriage makes it possible to evaluate the epidemiological characteristics of Streptococcus pneumoniae disease and the theoretical coverage offered by pneumococcal vaccines. It has been demonstrated that the nasopharyngeal (NP) sampling of respiratory secretions is superior to oropharyngeal (OP) sampling for identifying pneumococci carried by younger children, but adult data are conflicting and there are no published studies of adolescents. In order to compare the efficiency of OP and NP sampling in identifying and quantifying S. pneumoniae carriage in healthy adolescents, 2 swab samples were obtained from 530 adolescents aged 15-19 years, the first taken from the posterior pharyngeal wall through the mouth (OP) and the second through the nose (NP). Bacterial genomic DNA was tested for the autolysin-A-encoding gene (lytA) and wzg (cpsA) gene of S. pneumoniae in order to evaluate pneumococcal carrier status. All of the positive cases were serotyped. S. pneumoniae was identified in 35.8% of the OP swabs and 3.5% of the NP swabs (P

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)393-398
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Medical Microbiology
Issue numberPART 3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Microbiology


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