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Long-term effects of penicillin resistance and fitness cost on pneumococcal transmission dynamics in a developed setting
University of Skövde, School of Bioscience. University of Skövde, The Systems Biology Research Centre. (Infektionsbiologi, Infection Biology)
2016 (English)In: Infection Ecology & Epidemiology, ISSN 2000-8686, E-ISSN 2000-8686, Vol. 6, 31234Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: The increasing prevalence of penicillin non-susceptible pneumococci (PNSP) throughout the world threatens successful treatment of infections caused by this important bacterial pathogen. The rate at which PNSP clones spread in the community is thought to mainly be determined by two key determinants; the volume of penicillin use and the magnitude of the fitness cost in the absence of treatment. The aim of the study was to determine the impacts of penicillin consumption and fitness cost on pneumococcal transmission dynamics in a developed country setting.

Methods: An individual-based network model based on real-life demographic data was constructed and applied in a developed country setting (Sweden). A population structure with transmission of carriage taking place within relevant mixing groups, i.e. families, day care groups, school classes, and other close contacts, was considered to properly assess the transmission dynamics for susceptible and PNSP clones. Several scenarios were simulated and model outcomes were statistically analysed.

Results: Model simulations predicted that with an outpatient penicillin use corresponding to the sales in Sweden 2010 (118 recipes per 1,000 inhabitants per year), the magnitude of a fitness cost for resistance must be at least 5% to offset the advantage of penicillin resistance. Moreover, even if there is a fitness cost associated with penicillin resistance, a considerable reduction of penicillin usage appears to be required to significantly decrease the incidence of PNSP in a community.

Conclusion: The frequency of PNSP clones is hard to reverse by simply reducing the penicillin consumption even if there is a biological cost associated with resistance. However, because penicillin usage does promote further spread of PNSP clones, it is important to keep down penicillin consumption considering future resistance problems.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
CoAction Publishing, 2016. Vol. 6, 31234
Keyword [en]
pneumococci, network model, infectious disease epidemiology, penicillin non-susceptible pneumococci, individual-based, Streptococcus pneumoniae, antibiotic resistance
National Category
Infectious Medicine
Research subject
Natural sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:his:diva-12299DOI: 10.3402/iee.v6.31234PubMedID: 27206408OAI: diva2:930775
Available from: 2016-05-25 Created: 2016-05-25 Last updated: 2016-08-17Bibliographically approved

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