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January 1989

Haemophilus influenzae Type e (Biotype IV) Meningitis

Author Affiliations

Division of Infectious Diseases The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia 34th Street and Civic Center Boulevard Philadelphia, PA 19104

Am J Dis Child. 1989;143(1):9-10. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1989.02150130019001

Sir.—Invasive disease due to encapsulated, non—type b strains of Haemophilus influenzae is rare despite the fact that nasopharyngeal carriage of such strains is comparable to that of type b organisms.1 Some serious non—type b infections occur in immunologically or anatomically impaired hosts, while others occur in apparently normal individuals.2,3 Whereas the absolute incidence of such infections should be unaffected by the introduction and widespread use of type b capsular polysaccharide vaccines, their relative importance may increase, as has been suggested.2 This report of H influenzae type e meningitis in an infant and the accompanying literature review delineate a pathogenic role for this organism in normal hosts and emphasize an association with taxonomic biotype IV.

Patient Report.—A 3-month-old male infant presented with a 36-hour history of intermittent fever to temperature as high as 39.4°C, irritability, poor feeding, and vomiting. He was the 2.5-kg product of a 38-week twin gestation whose

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