J Clin Pathol 55:961-964 doi:10.1136/jcp.55.12.961
  • Original article

Clinical and microbiological features of Haemophilus influenzae vulvovaginitis in young girls

  1. R A Cox1,
  2. M P E Slack2
  1. 1Department of Microbiology, Kettering General Hospital NHS Trust, Rothwell Road, Kettering, Northants NN16 8UZ, UK
  2. 2PHLS Haemophilus Reference Unit, Department of Microbiology, Level 6/7, John Radcliffe Hospital, Headington, Oxford OX3 9DU, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr Cox, The Old Rectory, Ashley, Market Harborough, Leicestershire LE16 8HF, UK;
  • Accepted 2 July 2002


Aims: To define the clinical and microbiological features of vulvovaginitis in prepubertal girls whose genital swabs yielded Haemophilus influenzae.

Methods: Laboratory based study and retrospective collection of clinical data from the requesting doctors.

Results: Thirty eight isolates of non-capsulate Haemophilus influenzae and one of H parainfluenzae were isolated from 32 girls aged 18 months to 11 years. No other pathogens, such as β haemolytic streptococci or yeasts, were present with H influenzae. The most common biotype was biotype II, comprising 57% of the 26 isolates biotyped. Six children had more than one episode of vulvovaginitis caused by H influenzae and a total of 14 children had recurrent vaginal symptoms.

Conclusion: Children who have H influenzae vulvovaginitis are at risk of recurrent symptoms. Biotype II is the one most commonly associated with this condition.