—To study the epidemiology of childhood pneumococcal invasive infections in Israel as a background for immunization programs.
—A 2-year (October 1988 through September 1990) prospective, nationwide surveillance of all invasive pediatric pneumococcal infections.
—All 25 medical centers hospitalizing children in Israel, including all laboratories performing blood cultures from pediatric patients.
—Infants and children aged 0 to 12 years visiting the pediatric emergency department or hospitalized in pediatric departments were included if Streptococcus pneumoniae was isolated from blood or cerebrospinal fluid.
—Four hundred sixty-nine invasive infections were diagnosed. Pneumonia, bacteremia without apparent focus, meningitis, and cellulitis were found in 39%, 37%, 17%, and 3%, respectively. The annual incidence was 42 per 100000 for children younger than 5 years of age (104 per 100000 for those <12 months old). The two most common serotypes were 1 and 5, which are rare in Western Europe and North America. Eight groups comprised 82% of all invasive infections. Extrapolated to a population in which 100 000 live births occur yearly, the total annual hospitalizations for pneumococci infections was calculated to be 1928 days. The overall case-fatality rate was 2.2%, but it was 30% during the first month of life.
—Pneumococcal invasive infections are common in children in Israel and carry considerable morbidity.(JAMA. 1992;268:3328-3332)