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Concept: Haemophilus influenzae


Sustained high coverage with recommended vaccinations among children has kept many vaccine-preventable diseases at low levels in the United States (1). To assess coverage with vaccinations recommended for children by age 2 years in the United States (2), CDC analyzed data collected by the 2015 National Immunization Survey (NIS) for children aged 19-35 months (born January 2012-May 2014). Overall, coverage did not change during 2014-2015. Coverage in 2015 was highest for ≥3 doses of poliovirus vaccine (93.7%), ≥3 doses of hepatitis B vaccine (HepB) (92.6%), ≥1 dose of measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine (MMR) (91.9%), and ≥1 dose of varicella vaccine (91.8%). The data were also examined for potential vaccination coverage differences by race/ethnicity, poverty status, and urbanicity. Although disparities were noted for each of these factors, the most striking differences were seen for poverty status. Children living below the federal poverty level* had lower coverage with most of the vaccinations assessed compared with children living at or above the poverty level; the largest disparities were for rotavirus vaccine (66.8% versus 76.8%), ≥4 doses of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) (78.9% versus 87.2%), the full series of Haemophilus influenzae type b vaccine (Hib) (78.1% versus 85.5%), and ≥4 doses of diphtheria, tetanus, and acellular pertussis vaccine (DTaP) (80.2% versus 87.1%). Although coverage was high in some groups, opportunities exist to continue to address disparities. Implementation of evidence-based interventions, including strategies to enhance access to vaccination services and systems strategies that can reduce missed opportunities, has the potential to increase vaccination coverage for children living below the poverty level and in rural areas (3).

Concepts: Pneumonia, Vaccine, Poverty in the United States, MMR vaccine, Measles, Haemophilus influenzae, Pertussis, Vaccines


Immunization with pneumococcal vaccines is an important prophylactic strategy for children with asplenia or splenic dysfunction, who are at high risk of bacterial infections (including S. pneumoniae). This study aimed to assess immunogenicity and safety of pneumococcal non-typeable Haemophilus influenzae protein D conjugate vaccine (PHiD-CV, GSK) in this at-risk population.

Concepts: Immune system, Microbiology, Pneumonia, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, Otitis media, Haemophilus influenzae, Polysaccharide encapsulated bacteria


Otitis media is the most common reason U.S. children receive antibiotics. The requisite 7- to 10-day course of oral antibiotics can be challenging to deliver in children, entails potential systemic toxicity, and encourages selection of antimicrobial-resistant bacteria. We developed a drug delivery system that, when applied once to the tympanic membrane through the external auditory canal, delivers an entire course of antimicrobial therapy to the middle ear. A pentablock copolymer poloxamer 407-polybutylphosphoester (P407-PBP) was designed to flow easily during application and then to form a mechanically strong hydrogel on the tympanic membrane. U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved chemical permeation enhancers within the hydrogel assisted flux of the antibiotic ciprofloxacin across the membrane. This drug delivery system completely eradicated otitis media from nontypable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi) in 10 of 10 chinchillas, whereas only 62.5% of animals receiving 1% ciprofloxacin alone had cleared the infection by day 7. The hydrogel system was biocompatible in the ear, and ciprofloxacin was undetectable systemically (in blood), confirming local drug delivery and activity. This fast-gelling hydrogel could improve compliance, minimize side effects, and prevent systemic distribution of antibiotics in one of the most common pediatric illnesses, possibly minimizing the development of antibiotic resistance.

Concepts: Medicine, Bacteria, Auditory system, Otitis media, Ear, Penicillin, Clostridium difficile, Haemophilus influenzae


Otitis media (OM) is the most common childhood bacterial infection, and leading cause of conductive hearing loss. Nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi) is a major bacterial pathogen for OM. OM characterized by the presence of overactive inflammatory responses is due to the aberrant production of inflammatory mediators including C-X-C motif chemokine ligand 5 (CXCL5). The molecular mechanism underlying induction of CXCL5 by NTHi is unknown. Here we show that NTHi up-regulates CXCL5 expression by activating IKKβ-IκBα and p38 MAPK pathways via NF-κB nuclear translocation-dependent and -independent mechanism in middle ear epithelial cells. Current therapies for OM are ineffective due to the emergence of antibiotic-resistant NTHi strains and risk of side effects with prolonged use of immunosuppressant drugs. In this study, we show that curcumin, derived from Curcuma longa plant, long known for its medicinal properties, inhibited NTHi-induced CXCL5 expression in vitro and in vivo. Curcumin suppressed CXCL5 expression by direct inhibition of IKKβ phosphorylation, and inhibition of p38 MAPK via induction of negative regulator MKP-1. Thus, identification of curcumin as a potential therapeutic for treating OM is of particular translational significance due to the attractiveness of targeting overactive inflammation without significant adverse effects.

Concepts: Immune system, Inflammation, Bacteria, Infection, Chemokine, Otitis media, Haemophilus influenzae, Turmeric


BACKGROUND: The Finnish Invasive Pneumococcal disease (FinIP) vaccine trial was designed to assess the effectiveness of a pneumococcal vaccine containing ten serotype-specific polysaccharides conjugated to Haemophilus influenzae protein D, tetanus toxoid, and diphtheria toxoid as the carrier proteins (PHiD-CV10) against invasive pneumococcal disease. METHODS: In this cluster-randomised, double-blind trial, children aged younger than 19 months received PHiD-CV10 in 52 clusters or hepatitis vaccines as control in 26 clusters. Infants aged younger than 7 months at the first vaccination received either a 3+1 or a 2+1 vaccination schedule, children aged 7-11 months received a 2+1 schedule, and those 12-18 months of age received a two-dose schedule. The primary and secondary objectives were to assess vaccine effectiveness against culture-confirmed invasive pneumococcal disease due to any of the ten vaccine serotypes for the 3+1 and 2+1 schedules, respectively, in children who received at least one PHiD-CV10 dose before 7 months of age. Masked follow-up of pneumococcal disease lasted from the first vaccination (from February, 2009, to October, 2010) to January 31, 2012. Invasive disease data were retrieved from data accumulated in the national infectious diseases register. This trial and the nested acute otitis media trial are registered with, numbers NCT00861380 and NCT00839254, respectively. FINDINGS: 47 369 children were enrolled from February, 2009, to October, 2010. 30 528 participants were assessed for the primary objective. 13 culture-confirmed vaccine-type cases of invasive pneumococcal disease were detected: none in the PHiD-CV10 3+1 group, one in the PHiD-CV10 2+1 group, and 12 in the control groups. The estimates for vaccine effectiveness were 100% (95% CI 83-100) for PHiD-CV10 3+1 and 92% (58-100) for PHiD-CV10 2+1 groups. Two cases of any culture-confirmed invasive disease irrespective of serotype were detected in combined PHiD-CV10 infant cohorts compared with 14 in the corresponding control cohorts (vaccine effectiveness 93%, 75-99). In catch-up cohorts, seven cases of invasive disease were reported, all in the control group: two cases in the children enrolled at 7-11 months of age; and five cases in children enrolled at 12-18 months of age (vaccine effectiveness 100%, 79-100). Non-fatal serious adverse events suspected to be vaccine-related were reported via routine post-immunisation safety surveillance in 18 children. INTERPRETATION: This nationwide trial showed high PHiD-CV10 effectiveness against invasive pneumococcal disease when given in different schedules. For the first time, effectiveness of a 2+1 schedule in infants was confirmed in a clinical trial. FUNDING: GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals SA and National Institute for Health and Welfare, Finland.

Concepts: Streptococcus pneumoniae, Vaccine, Vaccination, Otitis media, Haemophilus influenzae


Myeloid differentiation factor 88 (MyD88) acts as a crucial adaptor molecule for Toll-like receptors (TLRs) and interleukin (IL)-1 receptor signaling. In contrast to the well-studied positive regulation of MyD88 signaling, how MyD88 signaling is negatively regulated still remains largely unknown. Here, we demonstrate for the first time to our knowledge that MyD88 protein undergoes lysine 63 (K63)-linked polyubiquitination, which is functionally critical for mediating TLR-MyD88-dependent signaling. Deubiquitinase CYLD negatively regulates MyD88-mediated signaling by directly interacting with MyD88 and deubiquitinating nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi)-induced K63-linked polyubiquitination of MyD88 at lysine 231. Importantly, we further confirmed this finding in the lungs of mice in vivo by using MyD88(-/-)CYLD(-/-) mice. Understanding how CYLD deubiquitinates K63-linked polyubiquitination of MyD88 may not only bring insights into the negative regulation of TLR-MyD88-dependent signaling, but may also lead to the development of a previously unidentified therapeutic strategy for uncontrolled inflammation.

Concepts: Immune system, Protein, Pneumonia, Toll-like receptor, Receptor, Haemophilus influenzae, Receptors, Regulatory agency


The human pathogen Haemophilus influenzae causes mainly respiratory tract infections such as acute otitis media in children and exacerbations in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. We recently revealed the crystal structure of H. influenzeae protein E (PE), a multifunctional adhesin that is involved in direct interactions with lung epithelial cells and host proteins. Based upon the PE structure we here suggest a hypothetical binding pocket that is compatible in size with a hemin molecule. An H. influenzae mutant devoid of PE bound significantly less hemin in comparison to the PE-expressing wild type counterpart. In addition, E. coli expressing PE at the surface resulted in a hemin-binding phenotype. An interaction between hemin and recombinant soluble PE was also demonstrated by native-PAGE and UV-visible spectrophotometry. Surface plasmon resonance revealed an affinity (Kd) of 1.6×10(-6)M for the hemin-PE interaction. Importantly, hemin that was bound to PE at the H. influenzae surface, was donated to co-cultured luciferase-expressing H. influenzae that were starved of hemin. When hemin is bound to PE it thus may serve as a storage pool for H. influenzae. To our knowledge this is the first report showing that H. influenzae can share hemin via a surface-located outer membrane protein.

Concepts: Protein, Gene, Lung, Pneumonia, Escherichia coli, Otitis media, Surface plasmon resonance, Haemophilus influenzae


AIM: Community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) is presumed to be bacterial in origin and empirical antibiotics are almost always given on admission. However, early detection of viral infection is also very important for hospital infection control and timely use of antiviral agents. The present study aimed to compare patients with viral and bacterial pneumonia, and identify independent predictors of viral pneumonia. METHODS: A prospective cohort study was carried out in a tertiary teaching hospital in a 1-year period. Older patients (aged ≥65 years) were recruited if they were admitted for CAP confirmed by chest radiographs. RESULTS: A cohort of 488 patients was analyzed. Infective causes were found in 137 (28.1%) patients. Bacterial, viral and mixed infections were detected in 86 (17.6%), 41 (8.4%) and 10 (2.0%) patients, respectively. Bacteriology was established mostly by sputum culture and virology by nasopharyngeal aspirate (NPA) viral culture. The commonest bacterial isolates were Haemophilus influenzae (31), Pseudomonas aeruginosa (15), Mycobacterium tuberculosis (14), Klebsiella spp. (9) and Streptococcus pneumoniae (6). Influenza A virus (28, 8 were pandemic 2009 A/H1N1 subtype) and respiratory syncytial virus (16) were the most frequent viral causes. Independent predictors of viral pneumonia included nursing home residence (RR 3.056, P = 0.009) and absence of leukocytosis (RR 0.425, P = 0.026). CONCLUSIONS: All nursing home residents hospitalized for CAP should undergo NPA viral testing because of infection control, early antiviral treatment and discharge planning. We suggest that empirical antiviral agents might be considered for nursing home residents hospitalized for CAP if outbreaks of influenza-like illness are reported in nursing homes. Geriatr Gerontol Int 2013; ●●: ●●-●●.

Concepts: Immune system, Bacteria, Microbiology, Virus, Pneumonia, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Influenza, Haemophilus influenzae


BACKGROUND: Otitis media is endemic in remote Indigenous communities of Australia’s Northern Territory. Alloiococcus otitidis is an outer ear commensal and putative middle ear pathogen that has not previously been described in acute otitis media (AOM) in this population. The aims of this study were to determine the presence, antibiotic susceptibility and bacterial load of A. otitidis in nasopharyngeal and ear discharge swabs collected from Indigenous Australian children with AOM with perforation. METHODS: Paired nasopharyngeal and ear discharge swabs from 27 children with AOM with perforation were tested by A. otitidis quantitative PCR (qPCR). Positive swabs were cultured for 21 days. Total and respiratory pathogen bacterial loads in A. otitidis-positive swabs were determined by qPCR. RESULTS: A. otitidis was detected by qPCR in 11 ear discharge swabs from 10 of 27 (37%) children, but was not detected in paired nasopharyngeal swabs. A. otitidis was cultured from 5 of 11 qPCR-positive swabs from four children. All A. otitidis isolates had minimum inhibitory concentrations consistent with macrolide resistance. All A. otitidis qPCR-positive swabs were culture-positive for other bacteria. A. otitidis bacterial load ranged from 2.2 x 104-1.1 x 108 cells/swab (median 1.8 x 105 cells/swab). The relative abundance of A. otitidis ranged from 0.01% to 34% of the total bacterial load (median 0.7%). In 6 of 11 qPCR-positive swabs the A. otitidis relative abundance was <1% and in 5 of 11 it was between 2% and 34%. The A. otitidis bacterial load and relative abundance measures were comparable to that of Haemophilus influenzae. CONCLUSIONS: A. otitidis can be a dominant species in the bacterial communities present in the ear discharge of Indigenous children with AOM with perforation. The absence of A. otitidis in nasopharyngeal swabs suggests the ear canal as the likely primary reservoir. The significance of A. otitidis at low relative abundance is unclear; however, at higher relative abundance it may be contributing to the associated inflammation. Further studies to better understand A. otitidis as a secondary otopathogen are warranted, particularly in populations at high-risk of progression to chronic suppurative otitis media and where macrolide therapies are being used.

Concepts: Auditory system, Eustachian tube, Otitis media, Ear, Haemophilus influenzae, Otitis externa, Indigenous Australians, Northern Territory


Introduction: The introduction of injectable vaccines targeting new diseases into childhood immunization programs has resulted in the need for combination vaccines to reduce the number of injections given during early childhood and maintain acceptability of targeting multiple pathogens by vaccination. Currently, there is only one licensed hexavalent combination vaccine which targets diphtheria, polio, tetanus, Haemophilus influenzae type b, hepatitis B and pertussis. A new, fully liquid formulation hexavalent vaccine ( Hexaxim ) has been developed and is currently undergoing licensure for use in childhood immunization programs. Areas covered: Safety and immunogenicity studies of Hexaxim have been undertaken in a diversity of settings, been evaluated with different dosing schedules and in comparison to the other licensed hexavalent vaccine (Infanrix hexa). This review of published journal articles and conference proceeding is focused on the studies in which Hexaxim has been evaluated and which are contributing to its pending licensure. Non-inferiority was demonstrated at the level of proportion of children developing seroprotective titers or showing seroconversion following the primary series of vaccine compared to the same target-antigens included in licensed combination vaccines. Also, Hexaxim was associated with a favorable safety and tolerability profile when administered during the first 6 months of life. Adequate and robust memory responses were elicited following a booster dose in the second year of life. Expert opinion: The development of new hexavalent combination vaccines targeting established pathogens is likely to assist in improving compliance and timeliness of vaccination in infants. These formulations will, however, need to be monitored for medium- and long-term effectiveness amidst growing concern of waning immunity against diseases such as pertussis when using acellular-pertussis vaccine and possibly hepatitis B when using combination vaccines. Nevertheless, the development of such combination vaccines remains necessary to help with the introduction of other new vaccines into an already crowded childhood immunization schedules.

Concepts: Immune system, Vaccine, Vaccination, Immunology, Tetanus, Smallpox, Haemophilus influenzae, Pertussis