The management of pneumococcal diseases still places a significant burden on medical and economic resources. The subjects at greatest risk of pneumococcal infections are children.
The aim of this review is to analyse the best current therapeutic approach to pneumococcal resistance, taking into account the level of susceptibility of Streptococcus pneumoniae, and the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of different antibiotics in the various pneumococcal diseases.
Antibiotic treatment of a number of pneumococcal diseases remains difficult or impossible due to the presence of strains resistant to commonly used antibiotics. In children the problem is significantly more important than in adults due to the reduced number of licenced drugs for subjects in the first years of life. The new conjugate pneumococcal vaccines containing 10 (PCV10) and 13 serotypes (PCV13), which include most of the recently emerging strains, might reduce the incidence of pneumococcal infections and the circulation of resistant pathogens. However, it is likely that optimal results will only be reached after the development of effective vaccines based on conserved proteins that are capable of preventing all pneumococcal infections, regardless of the serotype of the causative organism.
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