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n. a genus of Gram-negative aerobic nonmotile parasitic rodlike bacteria frequently found in the respiratory tract. They can grow only in the presence of certain factors in the blood and/or certain coenzymes: they are cultured on fresh blood agar. Most species are pathogenic: H. aegyptius causes conjunctivitis, and H. ducreyi soft sore (chancroid). H. influenzae is associated with acute and chronic respiratory infections (See also epiglottitis) and is a common secondary cause of influenza infections; H. influenzae type b is an important cause of bacterial meningitis in young children (see Hib vaccine).

Subjects: Medicine and Health.

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