Haemophilus influenzae biogroup aegyptius

DISEASE(S) AND SYMPTOMS

Brazilian purpuric fever

  • irritation of the conjunctivae of the eyes, followed by edema of the eyelids, photophobia, and mucopurulent discharge

  • high fever appears 3 to 15 days after conjunctivitis, along with vomiting and purpura

  • case fatality rate is 70 percent, with death occurring shortly after onset of systemic symptoms

  • disease was first recognized in 1984

DIAGNOSIS

  • microscopic examination of bacterial culture of conjunctival discharge

  • detection of organism in the blood

INFECTIOUS AGENT

  • Haemophilus influenzae biogroup aegyptius, a bacterium

MODE OF TRANSMISSION

  • contact with the conjunctival or respiratory discharges of infected persons

  • eye flies are suspected mechanical vectors

DISTRIBUTION

  • nearly all reported cases of Brazilian purpuric fever have occurred in southern Brazil (most cases have been in young children)

  • one case was reported from Australia

INCUBATION PERIOD AND COMMUNICABILITY

  • incubation period is unknown

  • disease is communicable for the duration of active infection

TREATMENT

  • high-dose intravenous antibiotics: ampicillin, chloramphenicol

PREVENTION AND CONTROL

  • prompt treatment of patients and close contacts

  • avoidance of exposure to eye flies

  • possibly vector control

FACTORS FACILITATING EMERGENCE

  • possibly an increase in bacterial virulence due to mutation



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement