After completing this article, readers should be able to:

With the successful control of Haemophilus influenzae invasive disease in the United States following the introduction of vaccine in the 1990s, attention has turned increasingly to Streptococcus pneumoniae, the leading bacterial cause of respiratory tract infections. At least 1 million children, mostly in developing countries, die each year from pneumococcal disease. It is the most important cause of otitis media, which in the United States accounts for more than 16 million medical visits per year. Prior to the introduction of pneumococcal immunization in the United States, S pneumoniae was responsible for 500,000 cases of pneumonia, 60,000 cases of bacteremia, 3,000 cases of meningitis, and 200 childhood deaths yearly.

Until the 20th century, invasive pneumococcal infection usually had a fatal outcome. The introduction of antibiotics in the mid-20th century was a major advance, but the development of pneumococcal antibiotic resistance...

You do not currently have access to this content.