December 1990

Spectrum of Invasive Haemophilus influenzae Type b Disease in Adults

Author Affiliations

From the National Public Health Institute, Helsinki, Finland (Drs Takala and Eskola), and Department of Medical Microbiology, University of Amsterdam (the Netherlands) (Dr van Alphen).

Arch Intern Med. 1990;150(12):2573-2576. doi:10.1001/archinte.1990.00390230113016

• A prospective nationwide surveillance of invasive Haemophilus influenzae type b disease among adults (16 years old) was conducted in Finland during 1985 through 1988. Thirty-one cases were identified (annual incidence, 0.22/100 000). Of these infections, 71% occurred in patients with severe underlying conditions. The overall case fatality rate was 26%. Septicemia (13 patients) and pneumonia (seven patients) were the most common clinical manifestations of H influenzae type b infection; the others were epiglottitis (six patients), meningitis (three patients), and arthritis (two patients). Epiglottitis occurred in significantly younger patients, all of whom were women and four of whom were previously healthy. Subtyping of the H influenzae type b isolates according to the major outer membrane protein subtype, biotype, and lipopolysaccharide serotype showed that patterns that were uncommon (14%) among children were more common (27%) in the adults.

(Arch Intern Med. 1990;150:2573-2576)