During the course of whooping cough, Bordetella pertussis interacts with alveolar macrophages and other leukocytes on the respiratory epithelium. We report here mechanisms by which these bacteria adhere to human macrophages in vitro. Whole bacteria adhere by means of two proteins, filamentous hemagglutinin (FHA) and pertussis toxin, either of which is sufficient to mediate adherence. FHA interacts with two classes of molecules on macrophages, galactose-containing glycoconjugates and the integrin CR3 (alpha M beta 2, CD11b/CD18). The interaction between CR3 and FHA involves recognition of the Arg-Gly-Asp (RGD) sequence at positions 1097-1099 in FHA. This study demonstrates that bacterial adherence can be based on the interaction of a bacterial adhesin RGD sequence with an integrin and that bacterial adhesins can have multiple binding sites characteristic of eukaryotic extracellular matrix proteins.