What are the signs and symptoms of nonencapsulated (NTHi) Haemophilus influenzae infections?

Updated: Jun 11, 2021
  • Author: Joseph Adrian L Buensalido, MD; Chief Editor: Pranatharthi Haran Chandrasekar, MBBS, MD  more...
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Nonencapsulated H influenzae commonly causes various mucosal infections, including otitis media and conjunctivitis.

S pneumoniae and nonencapsulated H influenzae are the most common causes of otitis media, which manifests in infants as fever and irritability and in older patients as ear pain. Frequently, a history of URTI exists.

NTHi is a major cause of conjunctivitis in older children and can cause outbreaks, especially in daycare centers. After S pneumoniae, NTHi is the most common cause of community-acquired bacterial pneumonia in adults. It is common in patients with COPD and HIV disease and exacerbates COPD, symptoms of which include low-grade fever, increased cough and sputum production, and dyspnea. NTHi invasive disease is frequently associated with underlying medical conditions, including prematurity, advanced age, alcoholism, malignancy, CF, asthma, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leak, CNS shunts, congenital heart disease, and immunoglobulin deficiency.

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