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J Clin Microbiol. 2008 Mar;46(3):876-81. doi: 10.1128/JCM.01726-07. Epub 2008 Jan 9.

Nasopharyngeal Haemophilus influenzae carriage in Japanese children attending day-care centers.

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  • 1Department of Otorhinolaryngology, School of Medicine, University of Occupational and Environmental Health, 1-1 Iseigaoka, Yahatanishi-ku, Kitakyushu 807-8555, Japan.


We conducted a prospective bacteriological survey to investigate antibiotic resistance-related genetic characteristics and the turnover of nasopharyngeal Haemophilus influenzae carriage in healthy children in day-care centers (DCCs). A total of 363 nasopharyngeal mucus samples were collected from children aged 0 to 6 years attending two DCCs in the summer of 2004 (n = 184) and the following winter (n = 179). We obtained 172 H. influenzae isolates and analyzed them by antimicrobial susceptibility testing, PCR for bla(TEM-1) and the penicillin-binding protein (PBP) gene, and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). The overall carriage rate was 47.4% (172/363), and 37.2% of the isolates (64/172) were ampicillin (AMP) resistant. All the resistant isolates had a PBP mutation(s), while only three isolates had TEM-1. The carriage rate was significantly higher in the winter than in the summer (56.4% and 38.6%, respectively), owing to the increase in the numbers of AMP-susceptible H. influenzae isolates in the winter. Children aged < or = 3 years showed a higher rate of carriage of H. influenzae isolates with an AMP resistance gene(s) than those aged > or = 4 years (21.9% and 12.6%, respectively). Forty-two strains with different PFGE patterns were obtained from among the 172 isolates. Only five strains were observed in both seasons. None of the strains isolated in the summer was isolated from the same carrier in the winter. Twenty-seven strains (64.3%) were isolated from two or more children, and 25 of these were each isolated from children belonging to the same DCC. These results indicate the spread of H. influenzae, particularly those with a PBP mutation(s), and the highly vigorous genetic turnover and substantial horizontal transmission of this pathogen in healthy children attending DCCs in Japan.

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