STEVEN L. BERK, M.D.
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To the editor: The article by Musher and associates (1) provides further evidence of the pathogenicity of nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae. Although this organism has long been isolated from expectorated sputum from patients with pneumonia, H. influenzae may be part of the normal flora of the upper respiratory tract and, therefore, isolation from expectorated sputum alone is not always diagnostic. Because non-typeable H. influenzae rarely causes bacteremic pneumonia, studies based on transtracheal aspiration helped define the pathogenicity of the organism as pointed out by the authors.
Other bacteria that are part of normal throat flora may also be potential respiratory pathogens.
BERK SL. Normal Flora and Respiratory Tract Pathogens. Ann Intern Med. ;100:320–321. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-100-2-320_2
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1984;100(2):320-321.
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