Hospital surveillance predicts community pneumococcal antibiotic resistance in Vietnam

Vo Thi Trang Dai, Jemima Beissbarth, P V Thanh, P T Hoan, H N L Thuy, Tran Ngoc Huu, Kathryn Bright, Catherine Satzke, Edward Kim Mulholland, Beth Temple, Heidi Smith-Vaughan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: In Vietnam, Streptococcus pneumoniae is a leading cause of disease, including meningitis. Antibiotics are available without physician prescription at community pharmacies and rates of antibiotic non-susceptibility are high. Appropriate treatment and antibiotic stewardship need to be informed by surveillance data.

Objectives: To report community-based pneumococcal antibiotic susceptibility testing data from children enrolled in a pneumococcal conjugate vaccine trial in Ho Chi Minh City [the Vietnam Pneumococcal Project (ViPP)] and compare these with published hospital-based data from the nationwide Survey of Antibiotic Resistance (SOAR) to determine whether hospital surveillance data provide an informative estimate of circulating pneumococcal resistance.

Methods: Pneumococcal isolates from 234 nasopharyngeal swabs collected from ViPP participants at 12 months of age underwent antibiotic susceptibility testing using CLSI methods and the data were compared with SOAR data.

Results: Antibiotic susceptibility testing identified penicillin-non-susceptible pneumococci in 93.6% of pneumococcus-positive ViPP swabs (oral, non-meningitis breakpoints). Non-susceptibility to erythromycin, trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole, clindamycin and tetracycline also exceeded 79%. MDR, defined as non-susceptibility to three or more classes of antibiotic, was common (94.4% of swabs). Low or no resistance was detected for ceftriaxone (non-meningitis breakpoints), ofloxacin and vancomycin. Antibiotic non-susceptibility rates in ViPP and SOAR were similar for several antibiotics tested.

Conclusions: A very high proportion of pneumococci carried in the community are MDR. Despite wide disparities in population demographics between ViPP and SOAR, the non-susceptibility rates for several antibiotics were comparable. Thus, with some qualification, hospital antibiotic susceptibility testing data in Vietnam can inform circulating pneumococcal antibiotic non-susceptibility in young children, the group at highest risk of pneumococcal disease, to guide antibiotic prescribing and support surveillance strategies.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberdkaa276
Pages (from-to)2902-2906
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy
Issue number10
Early online date9 Jul 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2020


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