Pneumococcal infections are caused by the bacteria Streptococcus pneumoniae (S. pneumoniae), of which there are more than 90 strains. The bacteria may be transmitted through infected respiratory droplets inhaled through the mouth or nose, or through physical contact with an infected surface. It can cause other types of infections, some of which may be serious, including pneumonia, bacterial meningitis, and sepsis. In 2005 the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that 1.6 million people die of pneumococcal disease each year, including 700,000 to 1 million children below the age of 5, most of whom are in low- and middle-income countries. Elderly people, and those that suffer from immune deficiency conditions, such as HIV, are also particularly prone to the disease.
S. pneumoniae has shown a growing resistance to common antibiotic drugs, emphasising the increasing need for people to be vaccinated against the disease to prevent future outbreaks. Two types of vaccinations exist: Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine for infants and young children, and Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Vaccine for elderly people over the age of 65. The vaccines have shown to protect 8 out of 10 infants and 7 out of 10 over-65-year-olds from the disease. As a result, WHO and other collaborators are seeking to introduce routine vaccinations for all new-born babies and elderly people.
Model name: UNIVAC (Hib, rotavirus and pneumo model)
Model name: Lives Saved Tool (LiST) (Hib, rotavirus and pneumo model)
WHO fact sheet on pneomococcal disease
CDC page on pneomococcal disease
Gavi page on pneomococcal disease