Invasive pneumococcal disease in Greenland

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Christiansen, J. ; Poulsen, P. ; Ladefoged, K. (2004)
  • Publisher: Co-Action Publishing
  • Journal: International Journal of Circumpolar Health (issn: 1797-237X, eissn: 1239-9736)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.3402/ijch.v63i0.17905
  • Subject: Streptococcus pneumoniae, Greenland, Inuit, meningitis, serotype, pneumonia

Introduction. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the incidence and outcome of pneumococcal infections in Greenland with special reference to serotypes. Study Design. Retrospective study of invasive pneumococcal infections in Greenland in the period 1996-2002. Methods. Cases were defined as patients with positive cultures of Streptococcus pneumoniae from blood and/or CSF received at the microbiological laboratory of Dronning Ingrids Hospital in Nuuk. Cultures were sent to Statens Serum Institut in Copenhagen for serotyping. Medical charts were reviewed. Results. Fifty-one cases were identified. Incidence among Inuit was 54 and among non-Inuit 17 per 100,000 per year. Twenty-one patients were in the age group 35-49 years and 20 in the age group 50-64 years. Twenty patients had meningitis (incidence 6 per 100,000). Seventeen patients died (33%). Most common serotypes were 1 (6 cases) and 12F (8 cases). Mortality rate was significantly higher among patients with 12F than among others (p<0.01). No patients with serotype 1 died. Conclusion. Like in Canada and Alaska, the incidence of invasive pneumococcal disease, especially meningitis, is high among the Inuit in Greenland. Young and middle-aged adults were most frequently affected. Serotype seems to be an important determinant of the outcome of invasive pneumococcal disease.Keywords: Streptococcus pneumoniae, Greenland, Inuit, meningitis, serotype, pneumonia
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