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Title: A review of Hib epidemiology in Asia
Authors: Lolekha, S.
Cooksley, G.
Chan, V.
Isahak, I.
Ismael, S.
John, J.
Khiem, H.B.
Kunasol, P.
Wah, L.B. 
Seong, N.H.
Paje-Villar, E.
Sulaiman, H.A.
Poovorawan, Y.
Issue Date: Dec-2000
Citation: Lolekha, S., Cooksley, G., Chan, V., Isahak, I., Ismael, S., John, J., Khiem, H.B., Kunasol, P., Wah, L.B., Seong, N.H., Paje-Villar, E., Sulaiman, H.A., Poovorawan, Y. (2000-12). A review of Hib epidemiology in Asia. Southeast Asian Journal of Tropical Medicine and Public Health 31 (4) : 650-657. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Meningitis due to an invasive Haemaphilus influenzae type b (Hib) infection, has been previously perceived to be relatively uncommon in Asia. However, the incidence of disease and its impact may have been underestimated. In addition to a lack of microbiological facilities in some hospitals, difficulties in culturing the organism and the widespread use of antibiotics may have hidden the true incidence of the disease in some countries. Furthermore, the reported disease burden probably underestimates the incidence of Hib pneumonia. The epidemiology of invasive Hib disease for various Asian nations is reviewed in this paper. Hospital-based studies show that Hib is a major cause of bacterial meningitis and/or pneumonia in the Philippines, India, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam. Singapore and Hong Kong have a low incidence of infection compared with Western and other Asian nations. This low incidence is not due to a higher level of natural protective antibodies, but may be related to an interaction between environmental and genetic factors. Therefore the widespread belief that Hib infection is unimportant in Asia does not refer to Asia as a whole and possibly to Chinese patients only, and failure to recognize this has serious implications. The inclusion of Hib vaccine in the routine infant immunization schedule in many industrialized nations has significantly reduced the incidence of invasive disease. Recent studies have shown Hib vaccination is also effective in preventing invasive disease in children in developing countries. While population-based data may be required to confirm the need for public-funded infant Hib immunization in Asia, its introduction in countries with a high incidence of Hib meningitis and/or pneumonia has the potential to significantly improve pediatric health and survival.
Source Title: Southeast Asian Journal of Tropical Medicine and Public Health
ISSN: 01251562
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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