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Clonal relationship of recent invasive Haemophilus influenzae serotype f isolates from Denmark and the United States.

Surveillance performed after the introduction of general Haemophilus influenzae serotype b (Hib) vaccination in Denmark identified 13 cases of invasive bacteraemic H. influenzae serotype f (Hif) disease in adults over a period of 7 years. Bacteraemic respiratory tract infections accounted for 61 % of cases, but meningitis, epiglottitis and osteoarthritis were also seen. Recent Danish isolates were compared to recent American isolates, historical Hif strains and non-Hif invasive strains. Results of conventional serotyping were confirmed by PCR detection of the serotype-f-specific cap and bexA gene sequences. Multilocus enzyme electrophoresis typing revealed that recent Danish and American isolates belonged to a single Hif clone, which may be undergoing expansion. The need for accurate serotyping of H. influenzae to enable reliable monitoring for Hib replacement by other capsular types is emphasized.

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