Decreased Pneumococcal Carriage Among Older Adults in Denmark During the COVID-19 Lockdown

Michaela Tinggaard, Hans-Christian Slotved, Randi Føns Petersen, Nichlas Hovmand, Thomas Benfield


BACKGROUND: COVID-19 containment measures reduced the burden of invasive pneumococcal disease. Data on pneumococcal carriage rates among adults during the pandemic are scarce.

METHODS: Naso- and oropharyngeal swabs and questionnaires were collected during January 2019 to December 2021 from adults ≥64 years of age. Carriage was determined by lytA/piaB PCR.

RESULTS: A total of 1556 participants provided paired naso- and oropharyngeal swabs. Their median age was 74 years (IQR, 70-79). Streptococcus pneumoniae DNA was detected in 146 (9.4%) oropharyngeal swabs and 34 (2.2%) nasopharyngeal. The carriage rate decreased from 12.9% (95% CI, 10.1%-16.1%, n = 66/511) prelockdown (January 2019-February 2020) to 4.2% (95% CI, 2.0%-7.5%, n = 10/240) during lockdown (March 2020-February 2021) and increased to 12.1% (95% CI, 9.8%-14.7%, n = 87/719) with the reopening of society (March 2021-December 2021; P = .0009).

CONCLUSIONS: Pneumococcal carriage prevalence declined significantly during pandemic mitigation measures and rebounded to prepandemic levels as measures were lifted.

TidsskriftOpen Forum Infectious Diseases
Udgave nummer8
Sider (fra-til)ofad365
StatusUdgivet - aug. 2023


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