Current features of Haemophilus meningitis in children

Vilnits A.A., Skripchenko N.V., Ivanova M.V., Ivashchenko I.A., Mazaeva E.M.

Research Institute of Childhood Infections, Federal Biomedical Agency of Russia, Saint Petersburg
Bacterial meningitis in childhood poses a real threat to life and may lead to severe disabling sequels. In the absence of mandatory vaccination against Haemophilus influenza, its type b remains one of the most common causes of bacterial purulent meningitis in children.
Objective. To study the clinical and epidemiological features of Haemophilus meningitis in Saint Petersburg children.
Materials and methods. The case histories were retrospectively studied in 73 children treated at the Research Institute of Childhood Infections, Federal Biomedical Agency of Russia (Saint Petersburg) in 2010–2014.
Results. Children of the first five years of life with different compromised premorbid conditions constitute a major proportion (98.7%) of cases. In the acute period of the disease, the severity of the condition was due to the obvious manifestations of systemic inflammatory response syndrome in all the patients; cerebral edema developed in 50.6%; septic shock in 2.6%; subdural effusion in 15%, empyema in 1.3%; and sensorineural hearing loss in 6.8%. The outcomes were as follows: complete recovery (53.4%); the development of symptomatic epilepsy (4.1%), sensorineural hearing loss (3.1%), compensated communicating hydrocephalus (8.2%), and various manifestations of encephalopathy (17.8%). Movement disorders were most frequently manifested by long-term (up to 6 months) frontal-cerebellar ataxia varying in severity (26.0%), there were no deaths.
Conclusion. Despite the fact that there are no deaths from Haemophilus meningitis in the period under consideration, the disease is characterized by a severe course and high frequencies of complications. The most effective measure that can prevent the development of both the condition itself and its complications is vaccination against Haemophilus infection.


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About the Autors

For correspondence:
Vilnits Alla Aronovna, Cand. Med. Sci.; Senior Researcher, Department of Neuroinfections and Organic Nervous System Diseases, Research Institute of Childhood Infections, Federal Biomedical Agency of Russia
Address: 9, Professor Popov St., Saint Petersburg 197022
Telephone: +7(812) 234-19-01

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