Haemophilus influenzae, SEM


Haemophilus influenzae (formerly called Pfeiffer's bacillus or Bacillus influenzae) is a gram-negative, coccobacillary, facultatively anaerobic pathogenic bacterium belonging to the Pasteurellaceae family. H. influenzae was first described in 1892 by Richard Pfeiffer during an influenza pandemic. The bacterium was mistakenly considered to be the cause of influenza until 1933 when the viral cause of influenza became apparent, and is still colloquially known as 'bacterial influenza'. H. influenzae is responsible for a wide range of localized and invasive infections. Naturally acquired disease caused by H. influenzae seems to occur in humans only. In infants and young children, H. influenzae type b (Hib) causes bacteremia, pneumonia, epiglottitis and acute bacterial meningitis. On occasion, it causes cellulitis, osteomyelitis, and infectious arthritis.

Credit: David M. Phillips / Science Source

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