Molecular determinants of the interaction between Haemophilus influenzae and human cells

Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 1996 Oct;154(4 Pt 2):S192-6. doi: 10.1164/ajrccm/154.4_Pt_2.S192.


Haemophilus influenzae is a human-specific pathogen that must colonize the human upper respiratory tract to avoid extinction. On occasion, organisms penetrate the epithelial barrier and cause bacteremic disease or spread within the respiratory tract to produce localized disease. Attachment to host epithelium is fundamental to the process of colonization and to the pathogenesis of disease. Accordingly, H. influenzae has evolved to express a number of factors that promote interaction with human epithelial cells. Our current understanding of H. influenzae type b and nontypable H. influenzae adhesins is reviewed in this report. In addition, models are proposed for the interrelationship of these molecules.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adhesins, Bacterial / genetics*
  • Adhesins, Bacterial / physiology
  • Animals
  • Bacterial Adhesion
  • Bacterial Capsules / physiology
  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics
  • Fimbriae, Bacterial / genetics
  • Haemophilus influenzae / genetics
  • Haemophilus influenzae / physiology*
  • Haemophilus influenzae / ultrastructure
  • Humans
  • Molecular Weight
  • Phenotype
  • Respiratory System / microbiology*


  • Adhesins, Bacterial
  • Bacterial Proteins