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BACKGROUND: Pneumococcal serotypes circulating in any population vary over time and between countries and impacts the effectiveness of pneumococcal vaccination. OBJECTIVE: This study investigated the epidemiology of pneumococcal disease in Jamaica. METHODS: Streptococcus pneumoniae isolates (n= 349) along with demographic and clinical information were collected from patients presenting at the 4 major hospitals in Jamaica over a 2-year period. Serotyping was done using latex agglutination tests and the Quellung reaction assay. RESULTS: Invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) incidence was 45.4/100,000 in children under 5 yrs and 16.3/100,000 in adults over 65 yrs. Thirteen serogroups were identified among the 120 isolates subjected to grouping; the most common being serogroups: 19 (22/120,18.3%), 6 (20/120,16.7%), 14 (20/120,16.7%), 23 (18/120,15.0%), 3 (11/120,9.2%) and nontypeable (8/120,2.3%). The estimated vaccine coverage rates for the PCV7 and PCV13 vaccines in children less than 5 yrs were 82.5% and 88.7% respectively. The 23-valent PPV23 provided 100% coverage rate in adults over 65 yrs and 82.9% coverage rate for the entire population. CONCLUSIONS: Pneumococcal vaccine coverage rates in Jamaica are comparable to those reported in certain developed countries and higher than in other developing countries. The high incidence of IPD in the paediatric population indicates that routine vaccination would be beneficial.

Original publication




Journal article


Hum Antibodies

Publication Date





193 - 199


Epidemiology, Jamaica, Serogroup, Streptococcus pneumoniae, pneumococcus, serotype, vaccine, Adolescent, Adult, Age Factors, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Agglutination Tests, Child, Child, Preschool, Female, Humans, Incidence, Infant, Infant, Newborn, Jamaica, Male, Mass Vaccination, Middle Aged, Pneumococcal Infections, Pneumococcal Vaccines, Prevalence, Serotyping, Young Adult