Nov 1, 1985

Preventing Haemophilus influenzae type b disease

Clinical Pharmacy
D T Casto, D L Edwards

Abstract

The pathogenesis of Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) disease and methods for limiting spread of outbreaks of Hib disease are reviewed. Many strains of H. influenzae are surrounded by an outer polysaccharide capsule; of the six antigenically distinct capsular types, Hib is the predominant cause of such serious infections as meningitis, especially among children younger than five years of age. The age-specific incidence of Hib disease appears to be related to the relatively small concentrations of anti-Hib antibody present in young children. Children younger than 48 months of age who reside in the same house or attend the same day-care center as a child who develops Hib disease appear to be at increased risk for contracting systemic Hib infections. Prophylactic administration of rifampin 20 mg/kg once daily for four days can substantially decrease asymptomatic carriage of Hib in household contacts of the index patient and reduce the incidence of secondary Hib disease. The index patient should also receive prophylactic rifampin therapy before discharge from the hospital; i.v. antibiotics may cure the systemic infection but allow nasopharyngeal colonization to persist. A vaccine formulated from purified Hib capsular polysacchari...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Pathogenic Aspects
Pathogenesis
Haemophilus influenzae
Meningitis, Haemophilus
Microbial Anatomical Capsule Structure
Antibiotic throat preparations
Nasopharynx
Antifungal Antibiotics, Topical
Heterotaxy Syndrome
Haemophilus influenzae type b polysaccharide vaccine

About this Paper

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