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An outbreak of pneumonia associated with S. pneumoniae at a military training facility in Finland in 2006

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Vainio A, Lyytikäinen O, Sihvonen R, Kaijalainen T, Teirilä L, Rantala M, Lehtinen P, Ruuska P, Virolainen A. An outbreak of pneumonia associated with S. pneumoniae at a military training facility in Finland in 2006. APMIS 2009; 117: 488–91.

Streptococcus pneumoniae is a well-known cause of community-acquired bacterial pneumonia. The purpose of this study was to assess the cause and extent of the outbreak of pneumonia which occurred among military recruits following a 1-week hard encampment in Finland. We also assessed the carriage rate and molecular characteristics of the S. pneumoniae isolates. All pneumococcal isolates were studied for antibiotic susceptibility, serotyped, genotyped by multilocus sequence typing (MLST), and the presence of pneumococcal rlrA pilus islet was detected. The genotype results defined by MLST corresponded with the serotype results. S. pneumoniae serotype 7F, ST2331, seemed to be associated with an outbreak of pneumonia and nasopharyngeal carriage among 43 military recruits. Of the 43 military recruits, five (12%) were hospitalized with pneumonia and two (40%) of them were positive for S. pneumoniae serotype 7F, ST2331 by blood culture. Eighteen (42%) of the 43 men were found to be positive for S. pneumoniae by nasopharyngeal culture, and nine (50%) of them carried pneumococcal serotype 7F, ST2331. The outbreak strain covered 55% of all the pneumococcal findings. Outbreaks of invasive pneumococcal disease seem to occur in a crowded environment such as a military training facility even among previously healthy young men.
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Keywords: S. pneumoniae; carriage; military recruits; outbreak; pneumonia

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: National Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland; 2: National Institute for Health and Welfare, Oulu, Finland; 3: National Institute for Health and Welfare, Turku, Finland; and 4: Joint authority of Kainuu Region Clinical laboratory, Kajaani, Finland

Publication date: 2009-07-01

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