Traveldoctor - International Travel Health

Search
Home Contact us Sitemap Printfriendly page
Pneumonia (bacterial)
Infection
Pneumococci are transmitted from person to person through the air. The infection is found worldwide.

Vaccination
There are several vaccines against pneumococci infections.

Vaccine for adults
The vaccine consists of polysaccharides (sugar) from 23 different types of pneumococci, and gives 60% to 80% protection for at least 5 years.After 5 years re-vaccination (booster) may be necessary, but persons with high levels of antibodies may experience severe side effects, and a blood sample analysed for antibodies against pneumococci is needed before re-vaccination.

Vaccine for children
The vaccine is so-called conjugated vaccine where the pneumococci sugars are couples to a protein carrier because sugars are not good at inducing an immune response in children.

Vaccination is recommended to people:
  • with chronic heart and lung disease
  • with diabetes
  • without spleen
  • over 65 years
  • immunocompromised like HIV-positive
  • with chronic renal diseases
  • with chronic liver diseases
  • living in countries with a high frequency of pneumococci resistant to penicillin like Spain and the United States.

    Symptoms
    Fever, cough, breathlessness, chest pain.

    Diagnosis
    Culture of bacteria from sputum, blood and spinal fluid.

    Treatment
    Early treatment with antibiotics is important and may be life saving.

    Prevention
    Vaccination

    Further information: H.P.A. – Pneumococcal Disease

    Edited 12 December 2008