Pneumococcal Disease

Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria (pneumococcus) is a major cause of disease and disability worldwide, and is vaccine-preventable. More than 90 distinct pneumococcal serotypes have been identified throughout the world, however only a small number of these serotypes cause the majority of disease in infants.

Pneumococcal disease occurs when the bacteria move from their harmless location, in the nasopharynx, to other more vulnerable parts of the body, including the lungs (pneumonia) or more invasive locations such as the blood (bacteremia and sepsis) or the membranes that surround and protect the brain (meningitis).

In 2015, more than 294,000 children under the age of 5 died each year from pneumococcal disease in the form of pneumonia, meningitis, and other serious infections.1

That same year, Nepal became one of the first countries in Southeast Asia to introduce the 10-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV10) nationwide.

The early introduction of PCV in Nepal presented an opportunity to not only measure vaccine impact within Nepal, but also to provide critical information about the potential impacts of this vaccine across Asia so that decision-makers in the region had robust evidence available to inform policies.

Learn how a team of scientists are working with the government of Nepal to estimate the vaccine’s impact.

  1. Wahl et al. (2018) Burden of Streptococcus pneumoniae and Haemophilus influenzae type b disease in children in the era of conjugate vaccines: global, regional, and national estimates for 2000–15. The Lancet Global Health.

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