Adherence to human cells of a cryptic Haemophilus genospecies responsible for genital and neonatal infections

A. Rosenau, P. Y. Sizaret, James M. Musser, A. Goudeau, R. Quentin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Haemophilus strains usually identified as Haemophilus influenzae biotype IV belonging to a cryptic genospecies are responsible for genital and neonatal infections. As a first approach to identifying the bacterial factors involved in the pathogenesis of these unusual diseases, we studied the piliation, adherence, and invasion properties of 17 strains assigned to this cryptic genospecies. Twelve strains spontaneously displayed abundant peritrichous piliation, and two strains expressed peritrichous pili after enrichment procedures. For virtually all strains, piliation correlated with adhesion to cultured HeLa cells of genital origin and to a lesser extent with adhesion to HEp-2 cells of laryngeal origin. A variation in the adherence properties of the various strains was observed: all piliated strains except one adhered to 50 to 100% of HeLa cells, with a mean number of bacteria per cell varying from 4 to 50. Adherence was not dependent on the state of growth for most strains, was more pronounced with HeLa cells than with HEp-2 cells for 10 of the 12 highly adherent strains, was time and inoculum dependent, and was not followed by significant invasion of cells. Most of the strains belonging to this unusual Haemophilus clone possess adhesins that do not recognize erythrocyte receptors, since agglutination of human erythrocytes was observed with only 3 of the 14 piliated strains.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4112-4118
Number of pages7
JournalInfection and Immunity
Issue number10
StatePublished - Jan 1 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases


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