Objective: To determine nasopharyngeal colonization rates of two vaccine preventable bacterial pathogens Hemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), and Streptococcus pneumoniae (Pneumococcus), antibiotic susceptibility of isolates, factors associated with their colonization, and immunization history in a cohort of HIV infected children.
Methods: The authors conducted a cross-sectional nasopharyngeal swab survey of 151 children affected with HIV presenting for routine outpatient care in West Bengal, India.
Results: 151 HIV affected children were enrolled. The median age was 6, 148/151 children were HIV positive, 65% had moderate to severe malnutrition, 53% were moderately to severely immunosuppressed, 17% were on antiretroviral therapy (ART), 90% were on cotrimoxazole prophylaxis (TMP/SMX). None had received the pneumococcal or Hib conjugate vaccines. Hib prevalence was 13% and pneumococcal prevalence was 28%. Children with normal or moderate immune suppression had high rates of colonization compared to those with severe immunosuppression (71% Hib, 61% pneumococcus). Hib and pneumococcal isolates had high rates of resistance to tested antibiotics including TMP/SMX and third generation cephalosporins. Neither ART nor TMP/SMX prevented colonization. Children colonized with multidrug resistant isolates had high rates of exposure to TMP/SMX.
Conclusions: HIV infection, late access to ART, high rates of colonization to resistant organisms and lack of access to vaccines makes this population vulnerable to invasive disease from Hib and pneumococcus.