BackgroundStreptococcus pneumoniae HP
, Haemophilus influenzae and Neisseria meningitidis MESHD
are leading causes of invasive diseases MESHD
including bacteraemic pneumonia MESHD pneumonia HP
and meningitis HP meningitis MESHD
, and of secondary infections post-viral respiratory disease MESHD
. They are typically transmitted via respiratory droplets. We investigated rates of invasive disease MESHD
due to these pathogens during the early phase of the COVID-19 pandemic MESHD
MethodsLaboratories in 26 countries across six continents submitted data on cases of invasive disease due to S pneumoniae HP
, H influenzae and N meningitidis from 1 January 2018 to 31 May 2020. Weekly cases in 2020 vs 2018-2019 were compared. Streptococcus agalactiae data were collected from nine laboratories for comparison to a non-respiratory pathogen. The stringency of COVID-19 MESHD
containment measures was quantified by the Oxford COVID-19 MESHD
Government Response Tracker. Changes in population movements were assessed by Google COVID-19 MESHD
Community Mobility Reports. Interrupted time series modelling quantified changes in rates of invasive disease in 2020 relative to when containment measures were imposed.
FindingsAll countries experienced a significant, sustained reduction in invasive diseases due to S pneumoniae HP
, H influenzae and N meningitidis, but not S agalactiae, in early 2020, which coincided with the introduction of COVID-19 MESHD
containment measures in each country. Similar impacts were observed across most countries despite differing stringency in COVID-19 MESHD
control policies. There was no evidence of a specific effect due to enforced school closures.
InterpretationThe introduction of COVID-19 MESHD
containment policies and public information campaigns likely reduced transmission TRANS
of these bacterial respiratory pathogens, leading to a significant reduction in life-threatening invasive diseases in many countries worldwide.