Invasive pneumococcal disease

Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria, SEM. © Science Photo Library

Pneumococcal diseases are symptomatic infections caused by the bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae (S. pneumoniae), commonly referred to as pneumococci. The term invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) is used for more severe and invasive pneumococcal infections, such as bacteraemia, sepsis, meningitis and osteomyelitis, in which the bacterium can be isolated from normally sterile sites. Pneumococcal infections and IPDs are major causes of communicable disease morbidity and mortality in Europe and globally, with the highest burden of disease found in young children and the elderly. A large proportion of IPD is vaccine preventable.

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