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BackgroundStreptococcus pneumoniae carriage is a prerequisite for clinical infections and is used to make public health decisions on vaccine licensure. Pneumococcal carriage data among high-risk Thai adults are needed before national vaccine program introduction. The association between coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and pneumococcal carriage were also investigated.MethodsDuring the COVID-19 pandemic, a multi-center cross-sectional study was conducted among high-risk Thai adults from September 2021 to November 2022. Pneumococcal carriage and serotypes were investigated using both conventional and molecular methods. Demographics and co-morbidities were determined for carriage while accounting for case clustering from various study sites.ResultsA total of 370 individuals were enrolled. The prevalence of pneumococcal carriage, as determined by the molecular method, was 30.8 % (95 % confidence interval (CI): 26.1-35.8), while after excluding non-typeable pneumococci from the oropharyngeal sample, the carriage prevalence was 20.8 % (95 % CI: 16.79-25.31). The serotype coverage rates by pneumococcal vaccine were 12.3 %, 13.1 %, and 16.4 % for PCV13, PCV15 or PCV20, and PPSV23, respectively, while the non-vaccine type was the majority (45.1 %). The most common serotype was 19B/C (35.5 %), followed by 6 A/B/C/D (10.7 %). The age group under 65 years was associated with a higher pneumococcal carriage rate than the age group 85 and older (odds ratio (OR): 5.01, 95 % CI: 1.75-14.36). There was no significant difference between SARS-CoV-2 and carriage status.ConclusionsThe prevalence of pneumococcal carriage in Thais was high. The majority of serotypes were not covered by the vaccine. Further studies on the link between carriage serotypes and disease are required. The magnitude and serotype distribution of carriage were comparable in the SARS-CoV-2 positive and negative groups.

Original publication





Journal of infection and public health

Publication Date





1102 - 1108


Department of Clinical Tropical Medicine, Faculty of Tropical Medicine, Mahidol University, Bangkok 10400, Thailand. Electronic address:


Nasopharynx, Humans, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Pneumococcal Infections, Pneumococcal Vaccines, Vaccination, Cross-Sectional Studies, Carrier State, Adult, Aged, Infant, Pandemics, Serogroup, COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2