Impact of Haemophilus influenzae type b conjugate vaccine in South Africa and Argentina

Michael Martin, Javier Maria Casellas, Shabir A. Madhi, Tamatha J. Urquhart, Suzanne D. Delport, Fernando Ferrero, Shadi Chamany, Gustavo H. Dayan, Charles E. Rose, Orin S. Levine, Keith P. Klugman, Daniel R. Feikin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) persists as a major cause of pediatric meningitis and pneumonia in developing countries in which Hib conjugate vaccines are not used. Demonstration of decreases in severe Hib disease after countries introduce Hib conjugate vaccine will help justify the resources necessary to purchase and provide the vaccine. Because surveillance for culture-confirmed Hib meningitis is not available in many countries, alternative means to measure the impact of Hib conjugate vaccine would be useful. Methods: Laboratory records from the years before and after introduction of the Hib conjugate vaccine were reviewed at 4 hospitals, 2 in Argentina and 2 in South Africa. Potential indicators of bacterial meningitis including cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) culture, white blood cell count, appearance, protein and glucose were recorded. Results: After introduction of Hib conjugate vaccine, culture-confirmed Hib meningitis declined significantly at 3 of 4 hospitals (2 in Argentina and 1 in South Africa). In the same 3 hospitals, there was a significant decline after vaccine introduction in some of the following CSF indicators of bacterial meningitis: proportion of CSF specimens with white blood cell count ≥100 × 106/L, 500 × 106/L and 1000 × 106/L; glucose <40 mg/dL; protein >100 mg/dL; and turbid appearance. Conclusions: Culture-confirmed Hib meningitis declined at 3 of the 4 hospitals after Hib vaccine introduction. Surrogate indicators of bacterial meningitis also declined and might be useful measures of Hib conjugate vaccine impact at hospitals where capacity to culture Hib is not available.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)842-847
Number of pages6
JournalPediatric Infectious Disease Journal
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Haemophilus influenzae
  • Haemophilus influenzae type b conjugate vaccine
  • Immunization
  • Vaccine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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