Streptococcus pneumonia infection also known as pneumococcal disease is an infection caused by Streptococcus pneumonia bacteria. These bacteria can affect to the different parts of the body causing different signs and symptoms depending on the site of infection. Pneumonia i.e., infection of the lungs, ear infections, sinus infections, meningitis i.e., infection of the covering around the brain, spinal cord and bacteremia covering blood stream infection. Streptococcus pneumoniae is communicable and spread from the infected person through coughing, sneezing, and close contact. The symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath, chest pain, stiff neck, confusion and disorientation, sensitivity to light, joint pain, chills, ear pain, sleeplessness, and irritability. In extreme cases Streptococcus pneumoniae infection can cause brain damage, hearing loss and death. Streptococcus pneumoniae infection mainly tends to occur in the elderly or in people with serious underlying medical conditions. Groups such as children under 2 years of age, children in childcare and Torres Strait Islander people. Streptococcus pneumoniae infection is usually diagnosed by microscopic examination and growth of bacteria from blood, sputum or other specimens.
PCR (polymerase chain reaction) testing in a pathology laboratory is also used. Antibiotic use in Europe, expressed in defined daily dose (DDD) per 1000 inhabitants, ranges from 10.0 in the Russian Federation, 14.6 in Sweden to 45.2 in Greece, according to 2008 data from the European Surveillance of Antimicrobial Consumption (ESAC) project. The statistics depend on the strength of monitoring systems. In the European Union (EU), Norway and Iceland, 5–12% of hospital patients acquire an infection during their stay. Each year, an estimated 400 000 present with a resistant strain, of whom 25 000 die, on average. In addition to causing deaths and increased suffering, AMR has huge economic implications. Multidrug-resistant bacteria in the EU are estimated to cause an economic loss of more than €1.5 billion each year. Resistance is increasing in Europe for some bacteria, especially Gram-negative bacteria such as Escherichia coli or Klebsiella pneumoniae, where new resistant mechanisms are emerging and new drugs are not in sight. Symptoms widely vary in patients with pneumococcal pneumonia, mild illness to febrile pneumonia to respiratory distress requiring ICU-level care. Factors such as age, type of symptoms, and duration of symptoms, underlying or chronic illness, and compliance with treatment, appropriate home care and potential for worsening disease are considered in determining the need and level of hospitalization. Most hospitalized should be treated with parenteral antibiotics in addition to medications for pulmonary symptoms, pain medications, intravenous fluids or parenteral or enteral nutrition, oxygen, and additional medications, as indicated on an individual basis. The use of steroids in adult patients with bacterial meningitis is recommended with caution, as they may decrease CSF antibiotic concentration; patients with meningitis treated with steroids should be monitored closely. Steroids can be considered prior to antibiotic therapy in children aged 6 weeks and older with pneumococcal meningitis. They should be given before or at the time of first dose of antibiotics. Intravenous fluids, parenteral or enteral nutrition, and other medications should be used as indicated clinical instances.
A patient with pneumococcal bacteremia is treated with appropriate antibiotics. Children who undergo workup to rule out serious bacterial illness but who are not treated initially with antibiotics and whose cultures subsequently grow S pneumoniae are often asymptomatic and have negative repeat blood culture findings at follow-up. Repeat blood cultures should always be obtained in patients with S pneumoniae bacteremia. Patients with cardiac, skin or soft-tissue, bone, and joint infections with S pneumoniae should usually be admitted to the hospital for observation, intravenous antibiotic therapy, expedition of further workup and evaluation of location. Major Research is been done in Germany on Streptococcus pneumoniae infection by Eurosurveillance, HighBeam Research.