To investigate how bacterial pathogens spread from child to child in a day care center, we monitored six children, two boys and four girls, born between August 1995 and November 1997, attending a day care center and analyzed nasopharyngeal samples from them using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). We obtained nasopharyngeal cultures from all of the affected children and almost all of the unaffected children between September 1998 and March 1999 after some children presented simultaneously with purulent rhinorrhea. Moreover, when a child was found to have acute otitis media, nasopharyngeal secretions from the child were independently cultured during treatment. During this period, 28 isolates of Moraxella catarrhalis, 13 of Streptococcus pneumoniae, and 4 of Haemophilus influenzae were recovered. PFGE gave 8 patterns for M. catarrhalis, 10 for S. pneumoniae, and 1 for H. influenzae. PFGE patterns demonstrated spread of M. catarrhalis between children. However, each occurrence of clusters of infection with M. catarrhalis lasted 2 to 6 weeks, with a change in PFGE pattern between occurrences of clusters. The M. catarrhalis strain infecting each child also changed. Similarly, the S. pneumoniae strain in each child also changed. In contrast, infection with H. influenzae persisted for about 3 months in an affected child.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Microbiology (medical)