2007 Volume 46 Issue 17 Pages 1395-1402
Objective The objective of this prospective study was to investigate the status of acute respiratory tract infections caused by Haemophilus influenzae and Streptococcus pneumoniae in tsunami disaster evacuation camps.
Methods Nasopharyngeal swabs (NP) of 324 internally displaced persons (IDP) in 3 different tsunami disaster evacuation camps of Sri Lanka were collected between March 18th and 20th, 2005, and analyzed for MIC, β-lactamase production, serotypes, PCR and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE).
Results Many IDP had respiratory symptoms and the prevalence of cough and/or sputum was 84%, 70.5% and 64.7% in the three camps. Twenty-one H. influenzae from 20 IDP and 25 S. pneumoniae from 22 IDP were isolated from the NP. All H. influenzae isolates were nontypeable, and 5 were β-lactamase producing. Seventeen pneumococci were susceptible, 5 showed intermediate resistance and 3 were fully resistant to penicillin G. Molecular analysis showed the 21 H. influenzae strains had 13 PFGE patterns and 25 pneumococci had 16 PFGE patterns. All 4 different PFGE patterns of H. influenzae strains were detected in a few IDP in camps 1 and 3, and 5 different PFGE patterns of serotype 3, 22A, 9A, 10A and 11A pneumococci were detected in a few IDP in camps 1 and 3.
Conclusion Our data indicate acute respiratory tract infections caused by various types of H. influenzae and S. pneumoniae appear to have been prevalent, some of which were potentially transmitted from person to person in tsunami disaster evacuation camps.