Haemophilus influenzae type B disease

Introduction

The Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) bacterium is an important cause of infections such as acute bacterial meningitis, pneumonia, acute epiglottitis and otitis media in children less than 5 years old.
Haemophilus influenzae type b disease infections are preventable by the five-in-one (penta-) vaccine. This infections are not common beyond 5 years of age.

Causes of haemophilus influenzae type b disease

  • Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib)

Symptoms of haemophilus influenzae type b disease

The symptoms of Hib disease include the following:

Signs of haemophilus influenzae type b disease

(See signs and symptoms of the specific diseases)

investigations

  • Culture and sensitivity of appropriate body fluids (e.g. pus from the ear in suppurative otitis media, cerebrospinal fluid in meningitis, pleural aspirate in empyema, blood).

Note

Blood culture is only relevant in invasive disease and would not be helpful in uncomplicated pneumonias.

Treatment for haemophilus influenzae type b disease

Objectives

The treatment objectives of Hib disease are:

  1. To eliminate the bacteria
  2. To provide supportive care

Non-pharmacological treatment

Refer to relevant presenting illness e.g. meningitis, pneumonia

Pharmacological treatment

Refer to relevant presenting illness e.g. meningitis, pneumonia

Referral Criteria

All patients who fail to show remarkable signs of improvement in 3 days following drug treatment, or present with complications should be referred for higher-level care.