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Article Reference Characterization of nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae collected from respiratory infections and invasive disease cases in Manitoba, Canada.
With the introduction of the Haemophilus influenzae serotype b (Hib) vaccine, invasive Hib disease has decreased substantially, but nontypeable H. influenzae (NT Hi) disease appears to be increasing. In order to understand the origin of NT Hi strains and their relationship with serotypeable strains, we analysed 125 NT Hi isolates collected from individual patients with either invasive disease (70 isolates) or respiratory tract infections (55 isolates). Serotype-specific and capsular transport genes were absent by PCR analysis, confirming their nonencapsulated status, which also suggested the NT Hi isolates were not encapsulated strains that shed their capsules. Multilocus sequence typing confirmed the NT Hi isolates did not have the same genetic background as serotypeable strains, including Hib. Despite the genetic heterogeneity found, two major genetic clusters were identified, both containing invasive and respiratory isolates. Fourteen invasive isolates and nine respiratory isolates produced beta-lactamase and were ampicillin resistant. More invasive (26.8%) than respiratory isolates (10.9%) showed decreased susceptibility towards ampicillin by a mechanism unrelated to beta-lactamase production. Besides a change in the capsule status of invasive Hi strains, the burden of invasive Hi disease, which used to be mainly a childhood disease, has now shifted to involve both adults and infants.
Article Reference Epiglottitis due to nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae in a vaccinated child.
Once a prevalent disease, acute epiglottitis in children has become a rare entity. The introduction of the Haemophilus influenzae type b vaccine has had a dramatic impact on the number of invasive infections caused by this organism. However, physicians must be aware that epiglottitis may result from vaccine failures or from infection with other pathogenic organisms. Vaccinated children with epiglottitis present in a similar fashion to those who are not vaccinated. We present a rare case of acute epiglottitis in a fully vaccinated child due to nontypeable H. influenzae and discuss the clinical presentation and management.
Article Reference Pneumococcal conjugated vaccine: PHiD-CV.
At the beginning of a new century, we have gained significant achievements against pneumococcal infections by using conjugated pneumococcal vaccines. In January 2009, the EMEA issued a positive opinion about, and recommended the approval of, GlaxoSmithKline's pediatric pneumococcal candidate vaccine, which is indicated for active immunization against invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) and acute otitis media caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae in infants and children from 6 weeks up to 2 years of age. The approved 10-valent pneumococcal vaccine (PHiD-CV) contains all serotypes in 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV-7) plus serotypes 1, 5 and 7F. Protein D from nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae is the carrier protein for eight serotypes, while tetanus and diphtheria toxins are in the carrier proteins for the remaining two serotypes. It has also been proved that PHiD-CV is immunogenic, safe and well-tolerated in children. This vaccine can be coadministered with routinely used pediatric vaccines. Noninferiority criteria of PHiD-CV compared with PCV-7 were established in shared serotypes, except for serotypes 6B and 23F, and PHiD-CV is immunogenic for additional serotypes as assessed by the percentage of subjects with antibody concentrations. PHiD-CV is also immunogenic for ten serotypes as assessed by post-primary and post-booster dose opsonophagocytic activity responses. Vaccine efficacy against IPD and other conditions should be monitored for shared serotypes and also additional serotypes during the postmarketing period. Optimal scheduling, safety and immunogenicity data in children with different risk factors for IPD, or whether it will provide herd immunity, are the questions waiting for answers in the postmarketing period. Further studies are needed to assess the potential advantages of protein D as a carrier and the potential efficacy of this new vaccine against H. influenzae. The potential public health efficacy of PHiD-CV in low-income countries, where IPD and pneumonia are a major public health problem, is a major concern.
Article Reference 10-valent pneumococcal nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae PD conjugate vaccine: Synflorix.
The global burden of disease due to Streptococcus pneumoniae remains high. The licensed 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (7vCRM, Prevenar/Prevnar) has successfully reduced invasive disease in the USA, but serotype coverage is incomplete and some evidence suggests that serotype replacement has occurred. Recently, a new 10-valent pneumococcal nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi) protein D (PD) conjugate vaccine (PHiD-CV, Synflorix) has been licensed in more than 40 countries, including Europe, for the prevention of invasive disease and acute otitis media (AOM) due to pneumococcus in infants and children. PHiD-CV is immunogenic in infants when administered as a three-dose primary vaccination in a range of schedules and has a safety profile comparable to that of 7vCRM. Additional serotypes in PHiD-CV (1, 5 and 7F) increase overall serotype coverage and improve coverage in specific age groups and against specific disease syndromes. The use of the PD carrier, which provided protection against AOM caused by NTHi in a large efficacy trial testing a prototype of the final vaccine formulation, suggests that PHiD-CV will also provide some protection against AOM due to NTHi.
Article Reference 27th Annual Meeting of the European Society for Pediatric Infectious Disease.
The 27th Annual Meeting of the European Society for Pediatric Infectious Disease (ESPID) was held in Brussels, Belgium, on 8-13 June 2009. Europe's largest pediatric infectious disease congress brought international pediatricians and experts on pediatric infectious disease and vaccine together. Owing to the numerous pediatric infectious topics and issues that were discussed, in this report we summarize the current knowledge about pneumococcal disease and pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (PCVs). The main topics covered are current pneumococcal seroepidemiology after the introduction of the 7-valent conjugated pneumococcal vaccine (PCV7), the efficacy and immunogenicity of a reduced-dose schedule of PCV7, and the effectiveness of PCV7 against invasive pneumococcal disease, otitis media and related conditions, pneumonia, and nasopharyngeal carriage. New studies, including that on the cost-effectiveness of the currently licensed 10-valent pneumococcal vaccine, which uses protein D from the nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae protein (PHiD-CV) and investigational PCVs (investigational 13-valent PCV [PCV13] and 11-valent PCV [PCV11]), were also presented. Next year, the 28th ESPID meeting will be held in Nice, France, on 4-8 June 2010. We will have a chance to see and evaluate, after the PCV7 and PHiD-CV era, current efficacy studies about new vaccines and investigational vaccines. With the 2015 key millennium development goalonly 5 years away, we need to accelerate the introduction of current vaccines and also evaluate newcomer vaccines in order to reduce the mortality rate among children younger than 5 years of age by two-thirds.
Article Reference Prevention of otitis media: now a reality?
Acute otitis media (AOM), one of the most common childhood diseases, is associated with a substantial medical, social and economic burden. Non-typeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi) and Streptococcus pneumoniae are the two main causes of bacterial OM. The 7-valent pneumococcal CRM(197)-conjugate vaccine (7vCRM, Prevnar/Prevenar, Wyeth) demonstrated efficacy against AOM caused by vaccine pneumococcal serotypes. Protection against overall AOM was also observed with an 11-valent pneumococcal protein D-conjugate vaccine (11Pn-PD) in the Pneumococcal Otitis Efficacy Trial (POET). Following POET, an optimized 10-valent pneumococcal non-typeable H. influenzae protein D-conjugate vaccine (PHiD-CV; Synflorix, GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals) was developed. This vaccine includes serotypes 1, 5, and 7F, in addition to those already included in 7vCRM, and was recently licensed in Europe for active immunization against invasive disease and AOM caused by S. pneumoniae in infants and children from 6 weeks up to 2 years of age. The use of protein D as carrier protein permits avoidance of possible interferences known to occur with some conjugate vaccines, and has the added potential benefit of providing protection against NTHi. This review seeks to highlight the recent advances in the field of OM vaccination, with a focus on data regarding the recently licensed PHiD-CV.
Article Reference Nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae as a pathogen in children.
Nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae is a significant pathogen in children, causing otitis media, sinusitis, conjunctivitis, pneumonia, and occasionally invasive infections. H. influenzae type b conjugate vaccines have no effect on infections caused by nontypeable strains because nontypeable strains are nonencapsulated. Approximately, one-third of episodes of otitis media are caused by nontypeable H. influenzae and the bacterium is the most common cause of recurrent otitis media. Recent progress in elucidating molecular mechanisms of pathogenesis, understanding the role of biofilms in otitis media and an increasing understanding of immune responses have potential for development of novel strategies to improve prevention and treatment of otitis media caused by nontypeable H. influenzae. Feasibility of vaccination for prevention of otitis media due to nontypeable H. influenzae was recently demonstrated in a clinical trial with a vaccine that included the surface virulence factor, protein D.
Article Reference Nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae: understanding virulence and commensal behavior.
Haemophilus influenzae is genetically diverse and exists as a near-ubiquitous human commensal or as a pathogen. Invasive type b disease has been almost eliminated in developed countries; however, unencapsulated strains - nontypeable H. influenzae (NTHi) - remain important as causes of respiratory infections. Respiratory tract disease occurs when NTHi adhere to or invade respiratory epithelial cells, initiating one or more of several proinflammatory pathways. Biofilm formation explains many of the observations seen in chronic otitis media and chronic bronchitis. However, NTHi biofilms seem to lack a biofilm-specific polysaccharide in the extracellular matrix, a source of controversy regarding their relevance. Successful commensalism requires dampening of the inflammatory response and evasion of host defenses, accomplished in part through phase variation.
Article Reference Nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae meningitis in children: phenotypic and genotypic characterization of isolates.
With the decline in the incidence of invasive Haemophilus influenzae type b disease as result of routine immunization of infants, the potential emergence of nontypeable H. influenzae (NTHi) strains as important pathogens has been suggested.
Article Reference Virulence phenotypes of low-passage clinical isolates of nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae assessed using the chinchilla laniger model of otitis media.
The nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi) are associated with a spectrum of respiratory mucosal infections including: acute otitis media (AOM); chronic otitis media with effusion (COME); otorrhea; locally invasive diseases such as mastoiditis; as well as a range of systemic disease states, suggesting a wide range of virulence phenotypes. Genomic studies have demonstrated that each clinical strain contains a unique genic distribution from a population-based supragenome, the distributed genome hypothesis. These diverse clinical and genotypic findings suggest that each NTHi strain possesses a unique set of virulence factors that contributes to the course of the disease.
Article Reference lgtC expression modulates resistance to C4b deposition on an invasive nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae.
We have previously shown that C3 binding to serum-resistant nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi) strain R2866 is slower than C3 binding to a serum-sensitive strain. Ab-dependent classical pathway activation is required for complement-dependent killing of NTHi. To further characterize the mechanism(s) of serum resistance of R2866, we compared binding of complement component C4b to R2866 with a serum-sensitive variant, R3392. We show that C4b binding to R2866 relative to R3392 was delayed, suggesting regulation of the classical pathway of complement. Increased C4b deposition on R3392 was independent of the amount and subclass of Ab binding, suggesting that an impediment to C4b binding existed on R2866. Immunoblotting and mass spectrometry indicated that lipooligosaccharide and outer membrane proteins P2 and P5 were targets for C4b. P2 and P5 sequences and expression levels were similar in both strains. Insertional inactivation of the phase-variable lipooligosaccharide biosynthesis gene lgtC in R2866 augmented C4b deposition to levels seen with R3392 and rendered the bacteria sensitive to serum and whole blood. These results suggest a direct role of lgtC expression in the inhibition of C4b deposition and consequent serum resistance of R2866. Alteration of surface glycans of NTHi may be a critical event in determining the ability of a strain to evade host defenses and cause disseminated infection.
Article Reference Kinetic Th1/Th2 responses of transgenic mice with bacterial meningitis induced by Haemophilus influenzae.
To investigate the kinetic Th1/Th2 immunopathogenic mechanisms of Haemophilus influenzae meningitis, we established a murine experimental model of meningitis and elucidated the Th1/Th2 immune responses in T1/T2 doubly transgenic mice based on a BALB/c background under the control of the IFN-gamma (interferon-gamma)/IL-4 (interleukin-4) promoters respectively. NTHi (non-typeable Haemophilus influenzae) meningitis was induced in these mice by inoculation with either a colonized (CNTHi) or invasive (INTHi) strain of NTHi. Mice inoculated with CNTHi displayed a less severe degree of disease in terms of clinical symptoms, mortality rate and brain histopathology. Conversely, INTHi-inoculated mice had more severe clinical symptoms. CNTHi-inoculated mice had a more significant Th1 response in terms of a higher percentage and longer maintenance of Th1 cells, and more production of IFN-gamma from strain-specific antigen-stimulated splenocytes than INTHi-inoculated mice. In contrast, INTHi-inoculated mice had a more significant Th2 response. This was due to a significant increase in IL-4-producing CD4(+) T-cells (Th2 cells) and more production of IL-4 from strain-specific antigen-stimulated splenocytes accompanied by a rapid decline of Th1 cells in INTHi-inoculated mice. In conclusion, the preferential Th1/Th2 trend in this murine model of NTHi meningitis is correlated with clinical severity as well as isolated characteristics of the pathogens themselves.
Article Reference Invasive nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae infection in an adult with laryngeal cancer.
We describe the first case of a man diagnosed with laryngeal cancer presenting with nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae bacteremia and dissemination to a gouty joint and review the pertinent literature.
Article Reference Characterization of genetic and phenotypic diversity of invasive nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae.
The ability of unencapsulated (nontypeable) Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi) to cause systemic disease in healthy children has been recognized only in the past decade. To determine the extent of similarity among invasive nontypeable isolates, we compared strain R2866 with 16 additional NTHi isolates from blood and spinal fluid, 17 nasopharyngeal or throat isolates from healthy children, and 19 isolates from middle ear aspirates. The strains were evaluated for the presence of several genetic loci that affect bacterial surface structures and for biochemical reactions that are known to differ among H. influenzae strains. Eight strains, including four blood isolates, shared several properties with R2866: they were biotype V (indole and ornithine decarboxylase positive, urease negative), contained sequence from the adhesin gene hia, and lacked a genetic island flanked by the infA and ksgA genes. Multilocus sequence typing showed that most biotype V isolates belonged to the same phylogenetic cluster as strain R2866. When present, the infA-ksgA island contains lipopolysaccharide biosynthetic genes, either lic2B and lic2C or homologs of the losA and losB genes described for Haemophilus ducreyi. The island was found in most nasopharyngeal and otitis isolates but was absent from 40% of invasive isolates. Overall, the 33 hmw-negative isolates were much more likely than hmw-containing isolates to have tryptophanase, ornithine decarboxylase, or lysine decarboxylase activity or to contain the hif genes. We conclude (i) that invasive isolates are genetically and phenotypically diverse and (ii) that certain genetic loci of NTHi are frequently found in association among NTHi strains.
Article Reference Haemophilus influenzae luxS mutants form a biofilm and have increased virulence.
To gain insight into the role of luxSHi in disease pathogenesis, we inactivated that gene in several non-typeable Haemophilus influenzae isolates with an antibiotic resistance cassette. Gene inactivation was confirmed by PCR and by Southern blot analysis in each strain. Culture filtrates from luxSHi mutants contained a decreased amount of autoinducer-2 (AI-2) activity in comparison to the wild-type isolates using the Vibrio harveyi BB170 bioassay. Culture filtrates from Escherichia coli strain DH5alpha expressing a cloned luxSHi contained 350-fold more AI-2 activity per cell than E. coli DH5alpha containing the vector alone. The growth rate in several liquid media, and the cell density after overnight growth were not significantly different between the parents and the luxSHi mutants. Two clinical H. influenzae and their luxSHi mutants produced an identical biofilm in a flow system. Invasion of human cells by the luxSHi mutants, in comparison to the wild-type parents was strain-dependent, and cell type-dependent, but the luxSHi mutants tended to be more invasive. The luxSHi mutant of an otitis media isolate, strain R3157 appeared more virulent in the chinchilla model of otitis media: there were more bacteria in the middle ear, a greater inflammatory response and more goblet cell hyperplasia 10 days after the inoculation. We conclude that the H. influenzae homologue of luxS modulates certain virulence traits.
Article Reference Bacterial otitis media: current vaccine development strategies.
Otitis media is the most common reason for children less than 5 years of age to visit a medical practitioner. Whilst the disease rarely results in death, there is significant associated morbidity. The most common complication is loss of hearing at a critical stage of the development of speech, language and cognitive abilities in children. The cause and pathogenesis of otitis media is multifactorial. Among the contributing factors, the single most important are viral and bacterial infections. Infection with respiratory syncytial virus, influenza viruses, para-influenza viruses, enteroviruses and adenovirus are most commonly associated with acute and chronic otitis media. Streptococcus pneumoniae, non-typeable Haemophilus influenzae and Moraxella catarrhalis are the most commonly isolated bacteria from the middle ears of children with otitis media. Treatment of otitis media has largely relied on the administration of antimicrobials and surgical intervention. However, attention has recently focused on the development of a vaccine. For a vaccine to be effective against bacterial otitis media, it must, at the very least, contain antigens that induce a protective immune response in the middle ear against the three most common infecting bacteria. Whilst over the past decade there has been significant progress in the development of vaccines against invasive S. pneumoniae disease, these vaccines are less efficacious for otitis media. The search for candidate vaccine antigens for non-typeable H. influenzae are well advanced whilst less progress has been made for M. catarrhalis. No human studies have been conducted for non-typeable H. influenzae or M. catarrhalis and the concept of a tribacterial vaccine remains to be tested in animal models. Only when vaccine antigens are determined and an understanding of the immune responses induced in the middle ear by infection and immunization is gained will the formulation of a tribacterial vaccine against otitis media be possible.
Article Reference Vaccine prevention of acute otitis media.
The incidence of acute otitis media (AOM) in infants and young children has increased dramatically in recent years in the United States. AOM often follows upper respiratory tract infections due to pathogens such as respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), influenza virus, and parainfluenza virus (PIV). These viruses cause eustachian tube dysfunction that is critical to the pathogenesis of AOM. Vaccines against these viruses would likely reduce the incidence of AOM. In three previous studies, influenza virus vaccines reduced the incidence of AOM by 30% to 36%. Vaccines to prevent infections with RSV and PIV type 3 are undergoing clinical testing at this time. Streptococcus pneumoniae, nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi), and Moraxella catarrhalis are the three most common AOM pathogens. Heptavalent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine is effective in preventing invasive disease and AOM caused by serotypes contained in the vaccine. Vaccine candidates for NTHi and M. catarrhalis are under development.
Article Reference Nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae: challenges in developing a vaccine.
Nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi) is a gram-negative coccobacillus that is one of the bacteria that form the commensal flora of the upper respiratory tract in humans. This bacterium is an important human pathogen causing a broad spectrum of disease in both adults and children, including invasive and localised infections. The challenges in developing a bacterial protein antigen into an effective vaccine are, firstly, understanding what factors constitute an effective protective immune response for the host, and secondly, to design an effective delivery system that can target and induce the required immune response in humans that will prevent the variety of infections caused by NTHi.
Article Reference Intra- and interstrain differences of virulence among nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae strains.
Nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi) is sometimes the causative agent of invasive diseases, and it has been suggested that there may be differences in virulence among NTHi strains. Whilst studying clinical isolates of NTHi in a rat model of acute otitis media, intra- and interstrain differences in virulence were observed. Two strains with suddenly reduced capacity to cause middle ear infections and one highly virulent strain with dose requirements comparable only to encapsulated H. influenzae strains were further investigated, together with 15 other H. influenzae strains. The strains were characterized by analyzing the lipopolysaccharide, the outer membrane proteins, the hemagglutinating ability, and the polymerase chain reaction products after amplification of a gene sequence associated with encapsulation. The pathogenic capacity was assessed in two different in vivo models. It was found that the two strains with reduced pathogenic capacity could regain their virulence after animal passage. The LPS analysis and the results from the chicken embryo model suggested that the observed change in virulence might be associated with the lipopolysaccharide. For the non-animal-passaged strain 3655 there were indications that an undefined factor(s) contributed to its relatively potent virulence. As all three strains lacked genes necessary for encapsulation, in no case could any part of the increased virulence be attributed to the expression of small amounts of capsule.
Article Reference The Haemophilus influenzae HtrA protein is a protective antigen.
The htrA gene from two strains of nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae has been cloned and sequenced, and the encoded approximately 46-kDa HtrA proteins were found to be highly conserved. H. influenzae HtrA has approximately 55% identity with the Escherichia coli and Salmonella typhimurium HtrA stress response proteins, and expression of the H. influenzae htrA gene was inducible by high temperature. Recombinant HtrA (rHtrA) was expressed from E. coli, and the purified protein was found to have serine protease activity. rHtrA was found to be very immunogenic and partially protective in both the passive infant rat model of bacteremia and the active chinchilla model of otitis media. Immunoblot analysis indicated that HtrA is antigenically conserved in encapsulated and nontypeable H. influenzae species. Site-directed mutagenesis was performed on the htrA gene to ablate the endogenous serine protease activity of wild-type HtrA, and it was found that eight of nine recombinant mutant proteins had no measurable residual proteolytic activity. Two mutant proteins were tested in the animal protection models, and one, H91A, was found to be partially protective in both models. H91A HtrA may be a good candidate antigen for a vaccine against invasive H. influenzae type b disease and otitis media and is currently in phase I clinical trials.