• Development of a diagnostic real-time polymerase chain reaction assay for the detection of invasive Haemophilus influenzae in clinical samples.

      Meyler, Kenneth L; Meehan, Mary; Bennett, Desiree; Cunney, Robert; Cafferkey, Mary; Epidemiology and Molecular Biology Unit and Irish Meningococcal and Meningitis Reference Laboratory, The Children's University Hospital, Temple Street, Dublin, Ireland. kenneth.meyler@cuh.ie (2012-12)
      Since the introduction of the Haemophilus influenzae serotype b vaccine, invasive H. influenzae disease has become dominated by nontypeable (NT) strains. Several widely used molecular diagnostic methods have been shown to lack sensitivity or specificity in the detection of some of these strains. Novel real-time assays targeting the fucK, licA, and ompP2 genes were developed and evaluated. The fucK assay detected all strains of H. influenzae tested (n = 116) and had an analytical sensitivity of 10 genome copies/polymerase chain reaction (PCR). This assay detected both serotype b and NT H. influenzae in 12 previously positive specimens (culture and/or bexA PCR) and also detected H. influenzae in a further 5 of 883 culture-negative blood and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) samples. The fucK assay has excellent potential as a diagnostic test for detection of typeable and nontypeable strains of invasive H. influenzae in clinical samples of blood and CSF.
    • Invasive meningococcal disease in children in Ireland, 2001-2011.

      Ó Maoldomhnaigh, Cilian; Drew, Richard J; Gavin, Patrick; Cafferkey, Mary; Butler, Karina M (2016-12)
      In 1999, invasive meningococcal disease was hyperendemic in Ireland at 14.75/100 000 population, with 60% group B and 30% group C diseases. National sepsis guidelines and meningococcal C vaccines were introduced in 2000. Despite a spontaneous decline in group B infection, invasive meningococcal disease remains a leading cause of sepsis. This study characterises the epidemiology of invasive meningococcal disease in children in Ireland since the introduction of meningococcal C vaccine and reviews its clinical presentation, hospital course and outcome in anticipation of meningococcal B vaccine introduction.