[Isolation of Haemophilus influenzae and Haemophilus parainfluenzae in genitourinary infections: a 4-year review]

Enferm Infecc Microbiol Clin. 1996 Mar;14(3):181-5.
[Article in Spanish]


Background: Haemophilus spp. had been previously suggested as a potential pathogen in genitourinary infections that could be sexually transmitted. In order to check that suggestions we have determined the incidence, pathogenic role, possible sexual transmission and susceptibility to antibiotics in isolates of Haemophilus parainfluenzae and Haemophilus influenzae from genital tract infections. The microbiological samples were taken during a period of four years from patients attended in a Service of Sexual Transmission Diseases and the data were further reviewed.

Methods: The study included 5,572 genital specimens from 2,182 women prostitutes with different genitourinary infections and from 825 men with urethritis. Microbiological samples were cultured in a non-specific media for genital pathogens and species of Haemophilus spp. and clinical circumstances of isolation were evaluated. Susceptibility tests were performed by using a standard microdilution test.

Results: Haemophilus spp. was isolated in 155 samples (2.8%) using a non-selective culture method. H. parainfluenzae was isolated in 100 cases (64.5%), Haemophilus influenzae in 45 cases (29%) and Haemophilus spp. in 10 strains (6.4%). Haemophilus spp. was isolated as a sole pathogen in men with urethritis (8 cases), epididymo-orchitis (2 cases), cervicitis and/or vaginitis (9 cases) and Bartholin's Abscess (2 cases). The most frequent biotypes were H. parainfluenzae biotype II (43%) and III (19%), and H. influenzae biotype IV (35.5%). Beta lactamase activity and ampicillin resistance were present in 29% of the H. parainfluenzae strains and in the 26.7% of clinical isolates of H. influenzae.

Conclusions: 1) Haemophilus spp. was isolated from genitourinary infections at a low frequency in the studied group. 2) The pathogenic role of Haemophilus spp. was suggested when was isolated as a sole pathogen present from some infections of the genitourinary tract such as urethritis in men and Bartholin's abscess in women. 3) The susceptibility to antibiotics in the clinical isolates of Haemophilus spp. from genitourinary infections was similar previously reported studies performed in Spain.

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Typing Techniques
  • Female
  • Haemophilus / classification
  • Haemophilus / isolation & purification*
  • Haemophilus Infections*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Sex Work
  • Urethritis / microbiology*
  • Uterine Cervicitis / microbiology*
  • Vaginitis / microbiology*