How to treat haemophilus influenzae bacteria

Summary

 Haemophilus influenzae: what is it?
 Pathogenicity of Haemophilus influenzae
 Treatment of Haemophilus influenzae infections

Haemophilus influenzae: what is it?
Haemophilus influenzae is a bacterium belonging to the family Pasteurellaceae and the genus Haemophilus. It is so called because it likes hemine derived from hemoglobin and is willing to grow in an organism weakened by influenza, or “influenza”.

Different criteria are used to categorize bacteria:

Form: Haemophilus influenzae is a polymorphous coccobacillus. It comes in two different forms: the spherical shape (shell) or stick (bacillus).
Capsule: the bacterium exists in two forms, encapsulated or not.
Gram stain: it is a Gram-negative bacterium.
Development conditions:
It is an optional aero-anaerobic bacterium: a small amount of oxygen is preferable to its development, but it can do without it.
Two growth factors (protein compounds) are essential for its development: hemin and NAD (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide).

Pathogenicity of Haemophilus influenzae
The pathogenicity of a bacterium is its ability to induce disease:

Haemophilus influenzae is part of the normal flora of the mucous membranes of the upper respiratory tract, including the nose and pharynx. It is present without associated disease in 40 to 60% of the general population, known as “healthy carrier”. In the vast majority of cases, these are unencapsulated strains.
There are 6 distinct serotypes, from A to F, differentiated by the composition of the capsule (if it exists) or the envelope of the bacterium. The most common is serotype B.
Haemophilus influenzae is an opportunistic bacterium, that is to say, it benefits from the weakening of the human body (viral infection or exposure to irritating factors such as tobacco) to induce a disease.
The capsule gives the Haemophilus influenzae that possess it a defense against our immune system. The most virulent serotype is type B.
Vaccination against the bacteria saves lives! Prior to its onset, Haemophilus influenzae meningitis in infants was common and was responsible for many deaths.

Haemophilus influenzae is responsible for several types of infections, some of which are serious. At-risk ages for severe pneumococcal infection are those under 2 years of age and those over 65:

Haemophilus influenzae infections mostly benign: acute otitis media, sinusitis, bronchitis;
potentially dangerous pneumococcal infections: pneumonia, meningitis, sepsis.

Treatment of Haemophilus influenzae infections
There are two classes of treatments for Haemophilus influenzae: curative and preventive treatments.

Curative treatments for Haemophilus influenzae: antibiotics
There are about ten classes of antibiotics. The most frequently used are penicillins, cephalosporins, aminoglycosides, macrolides, fluoroquinolones, glycopeptides and imidazoles:

Many of them are active on Haemophilus influenzae. The most frequently used are third-generation cephalosporins (C3G) such as Rocéphine®.
Some bacteria have natural resistance to antibiotics. This is the case of Haemophilus influenzae for macrolides and glycopeptides, among others.
Bacteria are also able to develop resistance against certain antibiotics, we talk about resistance acquired. In the case of Haemophilus influenzae, two acquired resistances are known:
beta-lactams, which include penicillins and cephalosporins;
fluoroquinolones.

Prevention of Haemophilus influenzae: vaccines
Vaccination against Haemophilus influenzae is mandatory for infants as young as 2 months old.

The vaccines currently used are coupled with other vaccines having the same vaccination schedule:

Pentavac® protects against diphtheria, tetanus, poliomyelitis, whooping cough and Haemophilus influenzae (mandatory vaccines in the same way as meningococcus C, whooping cough, measles, mumps, rubella).
Infanrix hexa® protects against these same 5 infectious agents, but also against hepatitis B (which also becomes a mandatory vaccine).
No penalty is provided for the parents of a non-vaccinated child (based on his health record), but it will not be admitted to the community (nursery, school, daycare, etc.). The maintenance of the child in community is indeed subordinated to the justification every year of the realization of the compulsory vaccinations (decree n ° 2019-137 of February 26th, 2019, completed the article R. 3111-8 of the Code of the health public).

Prevention of Haemophilus influenzae: vaccines
Vaccination against Haemophilus influenzae is mandatory for infants as young as 2 months old.

The vaccines currently used are coupled with other vaccines having the same vaccination schedule:

Pentavac® protects against diphtheria, tetanus, poliomyelitis, whooping cough and Haemophilus influenzae (mandatory vaccines in the same way as meningococcus C, whooping cough, measles, mumps, rubella).
Infanrix hexa® protects against these same 5 infectious agents, but also against hepatitis B (which also becomes a mandatory vaccine).
No penalty is provided for the parents of a non-vaccinated child (based on his health record), but it will not be admitted to the community (nursery, school, daycare, etc.). The maintenance of the child in community is indeed subordinated to the justification every year of the realization of the compulsory vaccinations (decree n ° 2019-137 of February 26th, 2019, completed the article R. 3111-8 of the Code of the health public).

The vaccination schedule of the infant is as follows: 3 injections at 1 month interval before 6 months, 1 booster at 18 months. Note that this vaccination is covered by Social Security up to 65% and 35% by mutuals. Free admission is applied in the vaccination centers for people without mutual insurance.

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