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Scand J Infect Dis. 1995;27(4):303-13.

Characterization of Haemophilus influenzae isolates from the respiratory tract of patients with primary antibody deficiencies: evidence for persistent colonizations.

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Department of Immunology, Microbiology, Pathology and Infectious Diseases, Karolinska Institute, Sweden.


A total of 117 consecutive patients with primary antibody deficiencies were followed for up to 5 years with regard to acute respiratory tract infections. Nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHI) was the sole pathogen in 61% (202/330) of the samples from which a potential pathogen was recovered. Common variable immunodeficiency (CVI) was the most prevalent condition (27/39 patients) in the group where H. influenzae was isolated. In patients where H. influenzae was not found only 9/78 patients had CVI. 49 of these 78 patients had isolated IgG3 or IgA deficiency. Both of these entities seemed to be associated with a lower prevalence of NTHI infections. 13 of 18 patients with at least 2 isolates of NTHI were colonized with the same strain from 3 to 43 months as shown by total genomic DNA-fingerprinting. Recurrent symptomatic infections occurred in these patients despite substitution therapy with gammaglobulins and repeated antibiotic treatments. All but 2 of the 224 H. influenzae isolates were beta-lactamase negative and sensitive to ampicillin. The use of 10 lipopolysaccharide-specific monoclonal antibodies in a whole cell ELISA showed that the LPS-epitopes on the 224 H. influenzae isolates from the hypogammaglobulinemic group were very similar to 499 NTHI isolates from immunocompetent patients with respiratory infections. One may therefore conclude that i) patients with CVI, were prone to be permanently colonized with NTHI, and ii) the colonizing bacteria were ordinary strains showing the same LPS-phenotypes as those strains that cause acute respiratory tract infections in immunocompetent individuals.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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