PCR-based quantitation and clonal diversity of the current prevalent invasive serogroup 6 pneumococcal serotype, 6C, in the United States in 1999 and 2006 to 2007

Academic Article


  • Following introduction of the 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine to the United States, rates of invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) caused by serotype 6A declined among all age groups, while rates of IPD caused by newly identified serotype 6C increased slightly among persons 5 years of age and older. Conventionally serotyped 6A isolates (CS6As) from active population-based surveillance during 1999 and 2006 to 2007 were classified as serotypes 6A and 6C by an expedient and highly accurate serotype 6C-specific PCR assay developed during this study. PCR testing of 636 year 1999, 2006, and 2007 CS6As revealed 6C proportions of 35/214 (16.4%), 141/218 (64.7%), and 141/204 (69.1%), respectively. These results agreed with those from a previously devised monoclonal antibody-based serotyping system (346 CS6As compared). Type 6C IPD incidence significantly increased during 2006 and 2007 compared to during 1999 (0.57 to 0.58 cases per 100,000 and 0.22 cases per 100,000, respectively; 164% increase from 1999 to 2007 [95% confidence interval, 87 to 270%]), while rates of IPD due to types 6A and 6B markedly decreased. In 2007, 31.2% of 6C isolates were not susceptible to penicillin. Serotype 6C is now the predominant serotype associated with serogroup 6 IPD in the United States and is often penicillin nonsusceptible. We performed multilocus sequence typing (MLST) on a limited sampling of 6C isolates with different antimicrobial susceptibility profiles. MLST of 42 6C isolates revealed 12 genotypes distributed among six distinct genetic groups. Fifteen 6C isolates shared one of four different MLST types with 6C-negative CS6As. MLST results suggest 6C strains arose from independent recombination events involving only serotype 6A and 6C parental strains. Copyright © 2009, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Carvalho MDG; Pimenta FC; Gertz RE; Joshi HH; Trujillo AA; Keys LE; Findley J; Moura IS; Park IH; Hollingshead SK
  • Start Page

  • 554
  • End Page

  • 559
  • Volume

  • 47
  • Issue

  • 3