The current burden of pneumococcal disease in England and Wales

Alessia Melegaro*, W. J. Edmunds, Richard Pebody, Elizbeth Miller, Robert George

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

111 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To evaluate the potential impact of various pneumococcal conjugate vaccination strategies, it is critical to ascertain the pre-vaccination epidemiology and to have a detailed evaluation of the current burden of pneumococcal disease. Method: A variety of national data sources and GP sentinel surveillance systems were used to estimate the incidence, number of hospital admissions, deaths, and GP consultations due to pneumococcal disease in England and Wales. Clinical outcomes included pneumococcal meningitis, bacteraemia, pneumonia and otitis media. A statistical model was used to attribute GP consultation recorded as pneumonia and acute otitis media to specific aetiological causes when these were not recorded. Results: The burden of pneumococcal disease is considerable, with incidence rates of both invasive and non-invasive disease peaking in children (<5 years) and in the elderly (75+ years). Around 5800 hospitalisations specifically mentioning Streptococcus pneumoniae are estimated to occur annually in England and Wales, almost 40 000 for lobar pneumonia and over 15 000 for otitis media. There may be an additional 70 000 GP consultations for pneumococcal related community acquire pneumonia and over 630 000 for otitis media. A significant proportion of hospitalisations and GP consultations for pneumococcal disease occur among high-risk groups, with over 80% of hospital admissions reporting more than one diagnosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-48
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Infection
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2006

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We would like to thank Dr Douglas Fleming of the Royal College of General Practitioners Scheme for providing consultation rates for CAP and AOM and the DH for hospitalisation records. We also want to thank Pauline Kaye and Usha Gungabissoon for data extraction. The MSGP4 are Crown Copyright and are reproduced with permission. The study was funded by a grant from the EU (QLG4-CT-2000-00640).


  • AOM
  • CAP
  • England and Wales
  • IPD
  • Otitis media
  • Pnc disease
  • Pneumococcus
  • Pneumonia


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