1887

Abstract

Haemophilus influenzae, originally named Pfeiffer’s bacillus after its discoverer Richard Pfeiffer in 1892, was a major risk for global health at the beginning of the 20th century, causing childhood pneumonia and invasive disease as well as otitis media and other upper respiratory tract infections. The implementation of the Hib vaccine, targeting the major capsule type of H. influenzae, almost eradicated the disease in countries that adapted the vaccination scheme. However, a rising number of infections are caused by non-typeable H. influenzae (NTHi), which has no capsule and against which the vaccine therefore provides no protection, as well as other serotypes equally not recognised by the vaccine. The first line of treatment is ampicillin, but there is a steady rise in ampicillin resistance. This is both through acquired as well as intrinsic mechanisms, and is cause for serious concern and the need for more surveillance. There are also increasing reports of new modifications of the intrinsic ampicillin-resistance mechanism leading to resistance against cephalosporins and carbapenems, the last line of well-tolerated drugs, and ampicillin-resistant H. influenzae was included in the recently released priority list of antibiotic-resistant bacteria by the WHO. This review provides an overview of ampicillin resistance prevalence and mechanisms in the context of our current knowledge about population dynamics of H. influenzae.

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2018-09-12
2020-01-21
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