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Streptococcus suis infection in Hong Kong: an emerging infectious disease?

  • E. MA (a1), P. H. CHUNG (a1), T. SO (a2), L. WONG (a2), K. M. CHOI (a3), D. T. CHEUNG (a4), K. M. KAM (a4), S. K. CHUANG (a1) and T. TSANG (a1)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 06 February 2008

We conducted a 31-month retrospective review of all laboratory-confirmed Streptococcus suis infections admitted to public hospitals in Hong Kong. Strain identification, serotyping and antibiotic susceptibility tests were conducted on S. suis isolates. Twenty-one sporadic cases were identified, comprising 18 (86%) males and 3 (14%) females. About half were patients aged ⩾65 years. More cases occurred during summer. Occupational exposure was documented in five (24%) cases. The estimated annual incidence was 0·09/100 000 in the general population and 32/100 000 in people with occupational exposure to pigs and raw pork. The primary clinical manifestations were meningitis (48%), septicaemia (38%) and endocarditis (14%). The case-fatality rate was 5%. All available isolates from 15 patients were serotype 2, sensitive to penicillin, ampicillin, ceftriaxone, but resistant to tetracycline. Injury prevention and proper handling of pigs or raw pork should be advocated to both at-risk occupational groups and the general population.

Corresponding author
*Author for correspondence: Dr E. Ma, M.B.ChB., Pdip Community Geriatric (Hong Kong), PDip Epidemiology and Biostatistics (CUHK), Senior Medical and Health Officer, Surveillance and Epidemiology Branch, Centre for Health Protection, Department of Health, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.(Email:
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