Advertisement

H. influenzae Risk Elevated in Pregnancy, Linked to Adverse Outcomes — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
March 19, 2014

H. influenzae Risk Elevated in Pregnancy, Linked to Adverse Outcomes

By Amy Orciari Herman

Invasive Haemophilus influenzae infection is more common in pregnant than nonpregnant women and is associated with high risks for fetal loss and premature delivery, according to a JAMA study.

Researchers studied the incidence of laboratory-confirmed invasive H. influenzae among women of childbearing age in England and Wales from 2009 through 2012. Overall, the incidence was low, at 0.5 cases per 100,000 women. However, the incident rate ratio was 13 times higher among pregnant women than nonpregnant women, mostly due to unencapsulated disease.

Of 74 fetuses of women with unencapsulated H. influenzae, 58% were miscarried and 3% were stillborn. Of the liveborn pregnancies, one third were premature. Infection during the first 24 weeks of pregnancy seemed particularly risky, with 94% of such infections resulting in fetal loss.

The authors conclude that H. influenzae "is an important pathogen to identify early and treat rapidly" in pregnancy. They and an editorialist stress the importance of labs using culture media that support its growth.

Reader Comments (2)

William DeMedio MD Physician, Family Medicine/General Practice

What would likely be much better than standard culture for this pathogen is a rapid DNA amplification detection test. It would give better, faster results and not require a blood culture medium or special handling.

RICHARD DOEHRING Physician, Pathology

On the contrary, I believe this to be the sort of situation in which nucleic acid amplification methods are at their least useful. Haemophilus influenzae is part of the normal microbial flora of the respiratory tract (and for that matter the genital tract), so just finding the organism means nothing. The important issue is invasive disease - that the organism is found in a sterile site, which was the criterion used in this study. Nucleic acid amplification methods, even if used on normally sterile specimens such as blood, would be way oversensitive, resulting in overdiagnosis and overtreatment.

Your Comment

(will not be published)

Filtered HTML

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Do you have any conflict of interest to disclose?
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.

Vertical Tabs

* Required

Reader comments are intended to encourage lively discussion of clinical topics with your peers in the medical community. We ask that you keep your remarks to a reasonable length, and we reserve the right to withhold publication of remarks that do not meet this standard.

PRIVACY: We will not use your email address, submitted for a comment, for any other purpose nor sell, rent, or share your e-mail address with any third parties. Please see our Privacy Policy.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement