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university of tampere: faculty of social sciences: research: research groups: epidemiology:
Faculty of Social SciencesUniversity of TampereFaculty of Social Sciences

Aleksandra Polkowska

 

Epidemiology of Streptococcus pneumoniae infections before introduction of pneumococcal conjugate vaccines in Poland - Opportunities for prevention 

Poland is one of the last European countries to introduce universal pneumococcal conjugate vaccination (PCV) for infants. Before 2017, 10-valent or 13-valent PCV was mandatory (free of charge) only for children under 5 years of age with risk factors for pneumococcal disease. In January 2017, 10-valent conjugate vaccine (PCV10) was introduced into the universal childhood vaccination program.

The purpose of this study is to provide baseline data on the epidemiology and disease burden of pneumococcal diseases before introduction of routine childhood conjugate vaccination programme in Poland, to allow assessments of vaccine effectiveness and impact. The study focuses on epidemiology of pneumococcal meningitis and its role in bacterial meningitis and on pneumococcal pneumonia hospitalizations in children and the elderly.

In Poland, there is a passive, mandatory reporting system for invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD). All physicians (since 2005) and laboratories (since 2014), who detect Streptococcus pneumoniae in normally sterile sites are obliged to notify the case to the national surveillance system coordinated by the National Institute of Health-National Institute for Hygiene (NIPH-NIH). All IPD isolates should be sent for serotyping and antimicrobial susceptibility testing to the National Reference Centre for Bacterial Meningitis. Compared with other European countries, the reported IPD incidence in Poland is relatively low, suggesting either substantial under-ascertainment or underreporting of cases. Only few studies assessing the incidence if IPD have been conducted in Poland, thus the actual burden of pneumococcal disease in unknown.

This study is a research collaboration between the University of Tampere, the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) in Helsinki and the National Institute of Health- National Institute of Hygiene in Warsaw.

Recent publication: ALEKSANDRA POLKOWSKA, MAIJA TOROPAINEN, JUKKA OLLGREN, 
OUTI LYYTIKÄINEN, J. PEKKA NUORTI:
Bacterial meningitis in Finland, 1995-2014:
a population-based observational study. Accepted, BMJ Open April, 2017
 
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