Eight strains of Haemophilus influenzae were tested for binding to human vitronectin. All strains adhered to vitronectin-coated glass slides but no binding was detected using soluble vitronectin, suggesting that surface association of vitronectin is a prerequisite. Vitronectin binding was not likely to be mediated by fimbriae as non-fimbriated and fimbriated isogenic strains adhered equally. Adhesion could be blocked by heparin, which is also known to block vitronectin binding to Staphylococcus aureus. However, no blocking was achieved with sialic acid-rich glycoproteins such as fetuin and mucin contrasting with Helicobacter pylori for which sialic acid seems to play an important role. With Streptococcus pneumoniae binding was detected both with soluble and surface-associated vitronectin and could not be blocked by heparin. Our results suggest that H. influenzae, Streptococcus pneumoniae and Helicobacter pylori all use distinct modes to interact with vitronectin.