Laboratory diagnosis of Haemophillus Infection
In all cases of suspected bacterial meningitis, a sample of blood as well as the CSF should be cultured. The CSF could be examined directly by gram-strain. If exposure of the organism in the CSF to specific antiserum result in a quellung reaction, the result is established. The specimen should be streaked onto chocolate agar and incubated in a candle jar.
Treatment and Prevention
Ampicillin was the drug of choice. However 20% of strains are resistant to ampicillin. Therefore initial therapy now consists of a cephalosporin and ampicillin/chloramphenicol. The mortality rate of treated H. Influenzae is less than 10% and most children acquire effective immunity by age 10. However a significant proportion of children (up to 30%) develop neurological sequelae and 5% end up being institutionalised. A vaccine is now available against haemophillus influenzae type b and is used in children.