Researchers have published a detailed survey of children with pneumonia in the Gambia, which reveals that Streptococcus pneumoniae is the predominant aetiological agent and that multiple pathogens are present in at least half of cases.

Researchers studied 55 children aged 2 to 59 months who were admitted to hospitals across the country with severe pneumonia. The pneumococcal conjugate vaccine was not routinely used during the study period (2007–2009), they noted.

Forty-seven children underwent lung aspiration while nine underwent pleural aspiration. The most prevalent pathogen detected with molecular assays was S. pneumoniae, which was present in 91% of aspiration samples. Serotype-1 was the most prevalent, at 22%, followed by serotype-4 (18%), serotype-14 (18%) and serotype-5 (16%).