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Population-based incidence of invasive pneumococcal disease in children and adults in Ontario and British Columbia, 2002–2018: a Canadian Immunization Research Network (CIRN) study

Nasreen S, Wang J, Kwong JC, Crowcroft NS, Sadarangani M, Wilson SE, McGeer A, Kellner JD, Quach C, Morris SK, Sander B, Kus JV, Naus M, Hoang L, Rudzicz F, Fadel S, Marra F. Vaccine. 2021; 39(52):7545-53. Epub 2021 Nov 19. DOI:

Background — Invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) burden, evaluated in Canada using reported confirmed cases in surveillance systems, is likely underestimated due to underreporting. We estimated the burden of IPD in Ontario and British Columbia (BC) by combining surveillance data with health administrative databases.

Methods — We established a cohort of 27,525 individuals in Ontario and BC. Laboratory-confirmed IPD cases were identified from Ontario’s integrated Public Health Information System and the BC Centre for Disease Control Public Health Laboratory. Possible IPD cases were identified from hospitalization data in both provinces, and from emergency department visit data in Ontario. We estimated the age and sex adjusted annual incidence of IPD and pneumococcal conjugate/polysaccharide vaccine (PCV/PPV) serotype-specific IPD using Poisson regression models.

Results — In Ontario, 20,205 overall IPD cases, including 15,299 laboratory-confirmed cases, were identified with relatively stable age- and sex-adjusted annual incidence rates ranging from 13.7/100,000 (2005) to 13.6/100,000 (2018). In BC, 7,320 overall IPD cases, including 5,932 laboratory-confirmed cases were identified; annual incidence rates increased from 10.9/100,000 (2002) to 13.2/100,000 (2018). Older adults aged ≥ 85 years had the highest incidence rates. During 2007–2018 the incidence of PCV7 serotypes and additional PCV13 serotypes decreased while the incidence of unique PPV23 and non-vaccine serotypes increased in both provinces.

Conclusions — IPD continues to cause a substantial public health burden in Canada despite publicly funded pneumococcal vaccination programs, resulting in part from an increase in unique PPV23 and non-vaccine serotypes.

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