Vulvovaginitis caused by Haemophilus influenzae in children

Vulvovaginitis in young girls (prepubertal) can be caused by a bacteria, Haemophilus influenzae.

H. influenzae is the second most common bacteria found after streptococcus in studies of vulvovaginitis in children, despite being less well known. One study actually found H. influenzae was responsible for more infections than strep.

Symptoms of vaginal H. influenzae

H. influenzae Antibiotic resistance is a feature of many of the strains of H. influenzae, with metronidazole and miconazole being inappropriate, and amoxicillin, co-amoxiclav, and trimethoprim being better.

The recurrent infection rate is reasonably high. Biotype II is the most common. These bacteria are part of the normal flora of the nose and throat, but only sometimes as part of normal vaginal flora in girls – this means picking your nose and then putting your hand down your pants is bad news for vaginas.

These bacteria often cause ear infections, pneumonia and sinusitis. Swabs are hard to get right, so the culture must be appropriate – growth conditions are strict.

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Jessica Lloyd - Vulvovaginal Specialist Naturopathic Practitioner, BHSc(N)

Jessica is a degree-qualified naturopath (BHSc) specialising in vulvovaginal health and disease, based in Melbourne, Australia.

Jessica is the owner and lead naturopath of My Vagina, and is a member of the:

  • International Society for the Study of Vulvovaginal Disease (ISSVD)
  • International Society for the Study of Women's Sexual Health (ISSWSH)
  • National Vulvodynia Association (NVA) Australia
  • New Zealand Vulvovaginal Society (ANZVS)
  • Australian Traditional Medicine Society (ATMS)