Hemagglutinin of unusual specificity from Helcococcus kunzii

Arch Microbiol. 2002 Feb;177(2):197-9. doi: 10.1007/s00203-001-0378-y. Epub 2001 Dec 7.


Helcococcus kunzii is a gram-positive, catalase-negative opportunist. The organism has been isolated from the lower extremities and breast masses of several patients. A clinical isolate of Helcococcus kunzii was shown to possess a hemagglutinin-lectin with a specificity for N-acetylglucosamine and lactose, two structurally unrelated carbohydrates. The lectin is sensitive to protease, heat and mutanolysin. Electron microscopy failed to reveal fimbriae or fibrillae, suggesting that the lectin is associated with peptidoglycan or the cytoplasmic membrane. It is likely that the lectin is involved in adhesion and colonization of H. kunzii.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetylglucosamine / metabolism
  • Gram-Positive Bacterial Infections / microbiology
  • Gram-Positive Cocci / chemistry*
  • Gram-Positive Cocci / ultrastructure
  • Hemagglutinins / isolation & purification
  • Hemagglutinins / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Lactose / metabolism
  • Lectins / isolation & purification
  • Lectins / metabolism*


  • Hemagglutinins
  • Lectins
  • Lactose
  • Acetylglucosamine