Acute Communicable Disease Control
Pneumococcal Disease (Streptococcus pneumoniae)

Pneumococcal disease is a leading cause of serious illness in children and adults. It is caused by a common bacterium called Streptococcus pneumoniae. It can lead to serious infections in the lungs (pneumonia), the blood (bacteremia), and the covering of the brain (meningitis) but may also cause sinus and middle ear infections. Issues of interest include the increasing resistance of S. pneumoniae to antibiotics and the recent availability of a new vaccine to protect children at highest risk, those less than 5 years of age.

Effective 10/1/02, all laboratories and health care providers are required to report any cases of invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD). Reporting IPD is important because of significant morbidity and mortality associated with this disease, the introduction of the new pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (Prevnar), and the increasing trends of antimicrobial resistance. Nationwide, the proportion of penicillin nonsusceptible S. pneumoniae increased from 10% to 25%. IPD surveillance will allow for tracking County-wide antimicrobial resistance patterns. The data will also help physicians make appropriate antibiotic treatment choices.


Los Angeles County Special Studies Reports:
Outbreaks of Pneumococcal Disease:
General Information and Resources on Pneumococcal Disease:
Publications & Archives

Preventing and Controlling Antibiotic Resistance