Horizontal transfer of the gene encoding outer membrane protein P2 of nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae, in a patient with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

J Infect Dis. 2003 Jul 1;188(1):114-7. doi: 10.1086/375724. Epub 2003 Jun 23.


An adult with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease was monitored prospectively for 2 years. Nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae was isolated from sputum cultures at 22 of 23 monthly clinic visits. Analysis of the isolates, by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), revealed that the patient was colonized by 3 different strains during the 2-year period. The gene encoding outer-membrane protein (OMP) P2, ompP2, was amplified from sputum samples and selected strains obtained from this patient. Analysis of the ompP2 sequences, in combination with the PFGE patterns, indicated that ompP2 horizontal transfer between 2 strains occurred in the respiratory tract, between clinic visits 13 and 14. Observation of ompP2 horizontal transfer in the human respiratory tract has important implications for both the understanding of ompP2 diversity among strains and the future design of OMP P2-based vaccines.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins / genetics*
  • Electrophoresis, Gel, Pulsed-Field
  • Gene Transfer, Horizontal / genetics*
  • Haemophilus Infections / complications*
  • Haemophilus Infections / microbiology*
  • Haemophilus influenzae / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / complications*
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / microbiology*
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA


  • Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins