Epidemiology and Infection

Research Article

Nasopharyngeal carriage and antibiotic resistance of Haemophilus influenzae in healthy children

A. J. Howarda1, K. T. Dunkina1 and G. W. Millara1

a1 Gwynedd Hospital, Penrhosgarnedd, Bangor, Gwynedd, N. Wales LL57 2PW


An investigation was undertaken to determine the isolation rate and antibiotic resistance of Haemophilus influenzae from the nasopharynx of young children. The 996 subjects studied were up to 6 years of age. H. influenzae was isolated from 304 (30·5%) and strains of capsular type b from 11 (1·1%). Age, sibling status, season, respiratory infection and antibiotic therapy all influenced isolation rates. The overall prevalence of antibiotic resistance in the strains isolated was ampicillin 5·4% (all β-lactamase producers), cefaclor 0·3%, chloramphenicol 1·3%, erythromycin 38·2%, tetracycline 1·3%, trimethoprim 5·4% and sulphamethoxazole 0%. Ampicillin resistance was more common in type b than non-capsulated strains.

(Accepted October 22 1987)