Streptococcus Pneumoniae is an exclusively human pathogen and is spread from person-to-person by respiratory droplets.
Meaning that transmission generally occurs during coughing or sneezing to others within 6 feet of the carrier. Thus, carriers of Streptococcus Pneumoniae, while generally healthy, are an important source of infection and disease for others. The most common types of infections caused by this bacteria include middle ear infections, pneumonia, blood stream infections (bacteremia), sinus infections, and meningitis. In the 1940s, penicillin antibiotics became available and were used effectively to treat pneumococcal infections. During the 1960s, however, the first pneumococcal bacteria that were not susceptible (“resistant”) to penicillin were discovered in humans. Since then, penicillin resistant pneumococcal bacteria have been reported all over the world.