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Health & Wellbeing

Pneumococcal Infections

Common symptoms of a pneumococcal infection tend to be fever, headache, aches and pains.

What are Pneumococcal Infections?

Pneumococcal infections are caused by the bacteria Streptococcus pneumoniae (S.pneumoniae). Infections vary in severity according to the particular strain of S.pneumoniae bacteria causing the infection and your general overall health. If you have diabetes or HIV or a weakened immune system for any other reason (e.g. you’re receiving chemotherapy), you will be more at risk of becoming infected. Babies, those over the age of 65 and smokers are also more at risk of pneumococcal infection. Also, more infections occur during the winter months.

Pneumococcal Infections can be either non-invasive or invasive (found in the blood or a major organ) in their nature. Non-invasive infections include illnesses such as bronchitis, sinusitis, and middle ear infection. Invasive pneumococcal infections are much more severe and include illnesses such as meningitis osteomyelitis, pneumonia, septicaemia, septic arthritis and bacteraemia.

Pneumococcal Infections Symptoms

Because pneumococcal infections can cause a wide range of illnesses, the symptoms can vary widely, but common symptoms include:

  • Fever (body temperature of more than 38c)
  • Aches and pains
  • Headache

Causes of Infection

pneumococcal infections - streptococcus

There are over 90 different strains of S.pnemoniae, but it is thought that just 8-10 strains are responsible for the majority of serious infection in humans.

Pneumococcal infections are much less contagious than colds and flu, but they are spread in a similar way. When an infected individual coughs or sneezes they can spread tiny droplets of fluid which can be breathed in by others, or bacteria on a person’s hands (from touching their mouth/nose/eyes or sneezing/coughing into their hands) can end up on door handles, etc. and quickly spread to others.

Those with weakened immune systems, children under two years old and people aged over 65 years are more susceptible to pneumococcal infections. People who smoke or drink excessively are also more at risk. Outbreaks of pneumococcal infections are more likely to occur in winter time, or in groups of people with weakened immune systems, such as nursing homes, crèches, etc.

Can supplementary support help?

Xylotene is a 100% natural product containing two synergistic beneficial sugars. Xylitol inhibits the growth of a range of harmful bacteria and has been efficiently used for the prevention of a variety of bacterial infections caused by S.pneumoniae including otitis media and rhinosinusitis. D-xylose, the other glyconutrient in Xylotene , is known to support and stimulates the body’s ability to synthesise chondroitin sulphate; a chemical needed for cartilage health. These two sugars combined help to increase calcium absorption in the gut, relieve joint pain, aid remineralisation of the bones and teeth and fight infections. Xylotene gets to work quickly inhibiting the adherence of S.Pneumoniae.


Kurola P, Tapiainen T, Sevander J, Kaijalainen T, Leinonen M, et al. (2011) Effect of xylitol and other carbon sources on Streptococcus pneumoniae biofilm formation and gene expression in vitro. APMIS 119: 135 - 14210.1111/j.1600-0463.2010.02703.x [doi] [PubMed]

Renko M et al. (2008) Xylitol-supplemented nutrition enhances bacterial killing and prolongs survival of rats with experimental pneumococcal sepsis. BMC Microbiol. 8:45 doi:10.1186/1471-2180-8-45[PMC free article] [PubMed]

Uhari M, Kontiokari T, Koskela M, Niemelä M (1996) Xylitol chewing gum in prevention of acute otitis media: double-blind randomised trial. BMJ 313: 1180 - 1184

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