Knight, J.M. ; Serjeant, Graham R.
Author Affiliation, Ana.
Tropical Medicine Research Institute
Invasive pneumococcal disease in homozygous sickle cell disease: Jamaican experience 1973-1997
Journal of Pediatrics
Date of Publication
Aimed to examine the clinical features and epidemiology of invasive pneumococcal disease in homozygous sickle cell (SS) disease and the efficacy of pneumococcal prophylaxis. Conducted a retrospective study of 80 episodes in 68 patients in the Jamaican Sickle Cell Clinic in a 25-year period (1973-1997). RESULTS: Clinical features included a history of fever (94%), vomiting (70%), an ill appearance (80%), fever (89%), abnormal chest signs (43%), and meningismus (39%). There were 14 deaths-13 among 68 initial episodes (6 of which were deaths on arrival) and one death during a recurrence. Thirteen episodes occurred in patients who should have been receiving antibiotic prophylaxis. Ten were due to failure to adhere to protocols, and 3 occurred during prophylaxis; one patient was receiving oral erythromycin, and two had received injections of benzathine penicillin 4 and 24 days before the episode. All but one of the pneumococcal isolates were susceptible to penicillin. The 32 patients who received pneumococcal vaccine had more mild clinical courses as indicated by a greater chance of being treated as outpatients or surviving after admission (Mann-Whitney U test, P =.03). Penicillin remains the mainstay of prophylaxis, although breakthroughs occur and will become more common with the increasing frequency of penicillin- resistant organisms. Pneumococcal immunization appears to ameliorate the course of invasive disease.....