[Severe pneumococcal infections in the elderly - preventable by vaccination.]

MVZ Labor Dr. Limbach und Kollegen, Im Breitspiel 15, 69126, Heidelberg, Deutschland, .
Zeitschrift für Gerontologie + Geriatrie (Impact Factor: 0.81). 12/2012;
Source: PubMed


Elderly people are more susceptible to pneumococcal infections. Data in Germany from 2005-2010 shows that especially seniors are prone to develop serious complications such as sepsis. Women are obviously less affected than men. Most of the infections occurred during the winter months. The majority of isolates, i.e., about 80%, possess capsular polysaccharide antigens which are represented in the 23-valent vaccine. Consequently, it could be assumed that the severe complications ensuing long hospital stays and associated with a high mortality could have been avoided, if the elderly people would have been vaccinated, which, however, was only true in a small proportion (28%). Recently, a new conjugated vaccine was introduced to the market. In principle, several antibiotics are available for direct antibacterial treatment. All isolates are susceptible to cefotaxime as well as to ceftriaxone. Resistance to penicillin as well as ampicillin is very rare in Germany. The vast majority of isolates are susceptible to quinolones such as levofloxacin and moxifloxacin. Resistance to macrolides, for example to erythromycin, occurs to a certain extent but the percentage has been declining in recent years. Nevertheless, in many instances therapy is too late. Thus, prevention is of great importance.

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    ABSTRACT: Background: Pneumonia represents the leading cause of infection-related death and the fifth cause of overall mortality, in the elderly. With increasing age, the human immune system undergoes characteristic changes which lead to increased incidence and severity of infectious diseases and to insufficient protection following vaccination as antibody response of elderly vaccines are weaker and decline faster. Objective: Knowledge and Attitude toward Pneumonia and its Vaccination in elderly patients. Result: Among low SES, 54.9% (549/1000) while from high SES, 91.8% (918) responded that they had heard about pneumonia before (P<0.05). 79.5% (795/1000) patients of high SES had heard about pneumococcal vaccination while only 28.8% (288/1000) patients from low SES had heard about pneumococcal vaccine. Only 2.3% of low SES patients were immunized for pneumococcal vaccine while 16.5% high SES patients were vaccinated. Reported reason for not being immunized were; did not hear, no body advised, vaccine is too expensive, and ignored thinking it is not necessary. Method: We conducted a cross-sectional study on 2000 elderly patients who were admitted in medicine and surgery wards of Civil Hospital Karachi and Aga Khan University Hospital Karachi from the period of October to December 2012 to determine their knowledge and attitude toward pneumonia and its vaccination in elderly. Study group was divided into low and high socio-economic status on the basis of patients coming to government Hospital i.e., civil hospital and private hospital i.e., Aga khan hospital. Data was collected through convenient sampling technique. Exclusion criteria were patients below 60 years and those who didn't give consent to be part of study. Conclusion: Aside from introducing public awareness program about elderly vaccination at state level, free of cost vaccination of elderly individuals should be done.
    Human Vaccines & Immunotherapeutics 02/2014; 10(4). DOI:10.4161/hv.27697 · 2.37 Impact Factor