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Haemophilus influenzae 

Haemophilus influenzae
Chapter:
Haemophilus influenzae
Author(s):

Esther Robinson

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198746690.003.0117
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date: 03 March 2021

Haemophilus influenzae is a Gram-negative bacillus that is an exclusively human pathogen and commensal. There are six capsular serotypes (a–f), of which type b (Hib) is a major cause of childhood infectious disease. Transmission occurs by close bodily contact, the main source being other children. Carriage of the organism may be followed by disease in susceptible individuals. In infants, Hib causes symptoms ranging from a mild non-specific febrile illness (occult bacteraemia) to fully blown sepsis with meningitis, epiglottitis, pneumonia, septic arthritis, or cellulitis. Non-typeable H. influenzae are common nasopharyngeal commensals and cause otitis media and conjunctivitis in children. In adults, non-typeable H. influenzae cause exacerbations of chronic bronchitis, sinusitis, and pneumonia. Other Haemophilus species, including H. parainfluenzae, are common commensals and rare causes of infective endocarditis and other sepsis.

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