A Comparative Profile of Oropharyngeal Colonization of Streptococcus pneumoniae and Hemophilus influenzae among HealthCare Workers (HCW) in a Tertiary Care Hospital and Non-HealthCare Individuals.


Oropharyngeal carriage, Streptococcus pneumoniae and H.influenzae, Health care workers


Introduction: Streptococcus pneumoniae and Hemophilus influenzae are two major bacterial human pathogens responsible for causing both acute respiratory tract and life threatening invasive infections. Oropharyngeal carriage of these isolates can lead to its transmission frequently in healthcare settings between patients and HealthCare workers (HCW) and also common among population living in crowded communities resulting in serious invasive infections. Furthermore, awareness about preventive measures including appropriate vaccination against these bacterial infections, oropharyngeal carrier status, prevalent serotypes and the antimicrobial susceptibility pattern these bacterial strains among HCW and Non-HCW in the community in India remains inadequate. Therefore the current study is aimed to understand the prevalence of oropharyngeal carrier status, prevalent serotypes and antimicrobial susceptibility profile of these organisms among HCW and non-HCW.

Methods: A total of 200 oropharyngeal swabs will be collected from HealthCare Workers and 200 from Non-Health care individuals of age 18 to 70. Antimicrobial susceptibility profile was studied for Pneumococci and H.influenzae. Specific serotypes for the carrier isolates of Pneumococci were identified using primers appropriate to the prevalent serotypes by multiplex PCR.

Results: About 30% of the HCW were colonized with S.pneumoniae and H.influenzae                (P =<0.0001). Out of which 19% of them were S.pneumoniae and 11% were H.influenzae. A total of 23% of the Non-HCW was colonized with S.pneumoniae and H.influenzae. Out of which 16% had pneumococcal carriage and 7% had H.influenzae. Individuals in the age group 56-70 years had significantly a greater prevalence rate when compared to young people (P= 0.0014). Thus in this study 30% of the HCW and 23% of the Non–HCW were colonized with S.pneumoniae and H.influenzae. Both Pneumococci and H.influenzae showed 100% susceptibility to Penicillin and other cephalosporins. However, Pneumococcal isolates from HCW showed better susceptibility towards erythromycin & clindamycin whereas isolates from Non- HCW showed better susceptibility towards ofloxacin and tetracycline. Serotypes detected in our study include 19F, 3, 1 and 5.

Conclusion: The present study gives a greater prevalence rate of S.pneumoniae and H.influenzae among HCW when compared to Non-HCW. This will definitely increase horizontal spread of infections and further accelerate the occupational risk. Increased carrier state prevalence among old age group underscores the importance of vaccination among these individuals.



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