Epidemiology of colonization by nontypable Haemophilus influenzae in children: A longitudinal study

S. M. Spinola, J. Peacock, F. W. Denny, D. L. Smith, J. G. Cannon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


Eighty-six nasopharyngeal isolates of Haemophilus influenzae were prospectively obtained from three children who attended a day care center from infancy until early childhood (five to seven years). A majority of the strains were nontypable. We analyzed strains by comparing their biotypes and by performing electrophoresis of outer membrane proteins on polyacrylamide gels. Profiles of outer membrane proteins were very heterogeneous and could not be used as the basis for the development of a subtyping scheme. The children characteristically carried a nasopharyngeal strain defined by a unique outer membrane pattern for a period of months, lost it, and then acquired a new strain. We probed the outer membrane proteins of a child's strains by the western blot technique with serum obtained serially from the child. Isolates whose outer membrane proteins appeared identical on strained gels generally had similar antigenic bands on western blots but were occasionally immunologically distinct. Serum immunoglobulins of the IgG class that reacted with the outer membrane proteins did not appear to change greatly over time or to play a role in preventing or terminating colonization. We conclude that nasopharyngeal colonization in children by nontypable H. influenzae is a dynamic process and that factors that cause loss and acquisition of strains remain to be determined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)100-109
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1986
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Infectious Diseases

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