Re-emergence of the type 1 pilus among Streptococcus pneumoniae isolates in Massachusetts, USA

Gili Regev-Yochay*, William P. Hanage, Krzysztof Trzcinski, Sheryl L. Rifas-Shiman, Grace Lee, Andrew Bessolo, Susan S. Huang, Stephen I. Pelton, Alexander J. McAdam, Jonathan A. Finkelstein, Marc Lipsitch, Richard Malley

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Pneumococcal type 1 pilus proteins have been proposed as potential vaccine candidates. Following conjugate pneumococcal vaccination, the prevalence of the pneumococcal type 1 pilus declined dramatically, a decline associated with the elimination of vaccine-type (VT) strains. Here we show that between 2004 and 2007, there has been a significant increase in pilus prevalence, now exceeding rates from the pre-conjugate vaccine era. This increase is primarily due to non-VT strains. These emerging piliated non-VT strains are mostly novel clones, with some exceptions. The rise in pilus type 1 frequency across multiple distinct genetic backgrounds suggests that the pilus may confer an intrinsic advantage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4842-4846
Number of pages5
Issue number30
StatePublished - Jul 2010
Externally publishedYes


FundersFunder number
National Institutes of HealthR01 AI48935, R01 AI066304
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious DiseasesR01AI066013


    • PCV7
    • S. pneumoniae pilus
    • Vaccine- and non-vaccine-types


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