Nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHI) strains are responsible for respiratory-related infections which cause a significant burden of disease in Australian children. We previously identified a disparity in NTHI culture-defined carriage rates between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal children (42% versus 11%). The aim of this study was to use molecular techniques to accurately determine the true NTHI carriage rates (excluding other culture-identical Haemophilus spp.) and assess whether the NTHI strain diversity correlates with the disparity in NTHI carriage rates. NTHI isolates were cultured from 595 nasopharyngeal aspirates collected longitudinally from asymptomatic Aboriginal (n = 81) and non-Aboriginal (n = 76) children aged 0 to 2 years living in the Kalgoorlie-Boulder region, Western Australia. NTHI-specific 16S rRNA gene PCR and PCR ribotyping were conducted on these isolates. Confirmation of NTHI by 16S rRNA gene PCR corrected the NTHI carriage rates from 42% to 36% in Aboriginal children and from 11% to 9% in non-Aboriginal children. A total of 75 different NTHI ribotypes were identified, with 51% unique to Aboriginal children and 13% unique to non-Aboriginal children (P <0.0001). The strain richness (proportion of different NTHI ribotypes) was similar for Aboriginal (19%, 65/346) and non-Aboriginal children (19%, 37/192) (P = 0.909). Persistent carriage of the same ribotype was rare in the two groups, but colonization with multiple NTHI strains was more common in Aboriginal children than in non-Aboriginal children. True NTHI carriage was less than that estimated by culture. The Aboriginal children were more likely to carry unique and multiple NTHI strains, which may contribute to the chronicity of NTHI colonization and subsequent disease.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Journal of Clinical Microbiology|
|Publication status||Published - May 2014|