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This epidemiological study examined morbidity and case fatality of invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) in adults in Belgium as well as distribution and antibiotic susceptibility of Streptococcus pneumoniae serotypes. Adults hospitalised with microbiologically proven IPD were prospectively enrolled. The study started in 2009 with patients aged ≥50 years, whereas in 2010 and 2011, patients aged ≥18 years were included. The clinical presentation, patient profile, treatment, outcome, and mortality were recorded during hospitalisation. Outcome was also assessed one month after discharge. Of the 1,875 patients with IPD identified, 1,332 were included in the analysis. Bacteraemic pneumonia, affecting 1,049 of the patients, was the most frequent IPD type (79%), and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and cancer were the main comorbidities. One-third of patients required admission to intensive care unit. A total of 208 (16%) patients died during hospitalisation and an additional 21 (2%) within one month after discharge. Case fatality rates of ≥20% were observed in patients with chronic heart failure, hepatic disease, and renal insufficiency. Serotypes 7F, 1, 19A, and 3 were the most prevalent and together accounted for 47% (569/1,214) of all IPD cases and 42% (80/189) of mortality. Of the patient isolates, 21% (255/1,204) were resistant to erythromycin and 22% (264/1,204) to tetracycline. Penicillin non-susceptibility was mostly found in serotype 19A isolates. These baseline data are essential when assessing the impact of pneumococcal conjugate vaccination in adults in the future.


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