Invasive Pneumococcal Disease

What is IPD?

IPD stands for Invasive Pneumococcal Disease, it is a severe and metastasis form of pneumococcus infection such as blood infection, meningitis, etc. The disease is commonly found in babies and small children and can be life-threatening or cause disability.
1. What isPneumococcus and how can it be contacted?
Pneumococcus is a Gram-positive bacteria that has more than 90 different strains, some of which are the cause of IPD. Pneumococcus bacteria is found inthe upper part of the respiratory tract (sinus and esophagus) and spread by persons with the bacteria (carrier) via sputum or nasal discharge. About 35% of the disease is found in the upper respiratory tract of Thai children.It is most prevalent in babies and small children age 2-3 years old. Inadults, only about 4% of infections are found to be an infectionin the upperrespiratory tract.
2. What does Pneumococcus Infection Bring?
Pneumococcus bacteria usually causes disorder in the respiratory tract such as Otitis media, Sinusitis, which are normally not severe and quite common. This bacteria is also the main cause of pneumonia, which can be severe.In general, IPD is rare but harmful. The pneumococcus bacteria will enter the body via respiratory tract and enter the blood system, then the bacteria might spread to the brain and cause meningitis, or spread to other parts of the body such as bones and joint which cause osteoarthritis.
3. Who is at risk of IPD?
Children younger than 2 years old have higher risk than adults.Moreover, children can carry the bacteria for as long as 2-4 months which is longer than anadult, while adults will normally carry the bacteria for about 2-4 weeks. Children with high risk of IPD are children without spleen or with abnormal spleen, children with Thalassemia, children with HIV, children with deficient immune system, children with chronic disease such as heart disease, lung disease, kidney disease, diabetes, children with cerebrospinalfluid leakage or broken skull, children with prosthesis operation on inner ear. Apart from the condition mentioned, children in orphanage home, children who live with smoking adult, children who were not breastfed also have higher risk of IPD. For adults, those who are consideredhaving high risk are the elderlyand those with deficient immune systems, allergy, sinusitis, emphysema, COPD.
4. How common is Pneumococcus infection and IPD?
The non-severe Pneumococcus which causesSinusitis, Otitis media is commonly found. However,instances of IPD in Thai children are much less common than with other countries.
5. What is the treatment of IPD?
Treatment of IPD can be done using Antibiotics such as Penicillins or cephalosporins.However, currently there isa drug resistance and a higher dose of medicine is needed. This disease can be treated effectively if the patient consults with a doctor and receivesantibiotics early on.
6. Can IPD be prevented?
Presently, there are 2 types of IPD Vaccines. Apart from vaccination, there are also other prevention measures such as, staying healthy and hygienic, breastfeeding your children, avoiding smoke and crowds, and consultingwithdoctor immediately once infected.
Thankyou to the Infectious Disease Association of Thailand for the information.