Determinants of invasive bacterial diseases in children: a preliminary report

Alberto E. Tozzi, Alessandra Simonetti, Ilaria Stolfi, Laura Lancella, Rita Carsetti, Alberto G. Ugazio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Abstract: Invasive bacterial infections cause severe diseases, especially in children younger than 5 years of age. Although several risk factors are well known, most sporadic cases remain apparently unexplained. We set up a pilot study to explore new determinants of invasive bacterial diseases (IBDs). We recruited a sample of paediatric patients with IBDs admitted to our hospital between 2004 and 2007. Their families were asked to reply to a questionnaire on epidemiological data and vaccination history. A 5 ml blood sample was obtained for blood cell count, evaluation of total haemolytic complement (CH50) and a functional evaluation of IgM memory B cells and toll-like receptors. Patients also underwent ultrasound examination to determine the presence or absence of the spleen. To date, we have recruited 48 patients with an age range of 1 month to 14 years. Fifty six per cent were male, 62% had meningitis and 69% sepsis. Most invasive infections were associated with Neisseria meningitidis (33%). Epidemiological and clinical data analyses are still in progress. Immunological, epidemiological or bacterial factors may explain cases of IBD in apparently immunocompetent patients. A larger study will be necessary to identify the highest risk profile candidates for specific prevention strategies.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPaediatrics and Child Health
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2008


  • capsulated bacteria
  • immunity
  • invasive bacterial disease
  • risk factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


Dive into the research topics of 'Determinants of invasive bacterial diseases in children: a preliminary report'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this