The pneumococcus bacterium (Streptococcus pneumoniae) kills approximately 500,000 children less than five years of age each year, mainly in the developing world. It is the leading cause of childhood pneumonia, the number one killer of children under five in the developing world, and a cause of meningitis (inflammation of the covering of the brain), ear infections, and bacteremia (blood stream infection). Pneumococcal disease can be treated with antibiotics; however, antibiotic-resistant strains are becoming more common worldwide. Current pneumococcal vaccines approved for use in children are effective against strains common in the industrialized world and some developing countries, but do not cover all 90+ pneumococcal serotypes and they are complex and expensive to manufacture. There are several additional vaccines in development.
Measuring Impact of Streptococcus pneumoniae and Haemophilus influenzae type b Conjugate Vaccination (2012)
A manual that describes approaches to measuring conjugate vaccine impact on disease incidence and provides a framework for determining the best methodology in a specific country setting.
The Pneumonia Etiology Research for Child Health Project: A 21st Century Childhood Pneumonia Etiology Study (2012)
An article that details an evaluation of the etiologic agents causing severe pneumonia in children from low-resource countries.
Featured PATH resources
Developing New Vaccines Against Pneumonia and Other Pneumococcal Diseases (2012)
A technical fact sheet that outlines PATH's pneumococcal vaccine project including an overview of its portfolio, research activities, and partners.
Accelerating New Vaccine Development Against Pneumonia and Other Pneumococcal Diseases (2012)
A fact sheet that gives a general overview of PATH's work to develop new vaccines against pneumococcal disease.
Page last updated: December 2012.