The adhesins of non-typeable Haemophilus influenzae

Karen L. Osman, Johanna M. Jefferies, Christopher H. Woelk, David W. Cleary, Stuart C. Clarke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi) is an opportunistic pathogen of the respiratory tract and the greatest contributor to invasive Haemophilus disease. Additionally, in children, NTHi is responsible for the majority of otitis media (OM) which can lead to chronic infection and hearing loss. In adults, NTHi infection in the lungs is responsible for the onset of acute exacerbations in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Unfortunately, there is currently no vaccine available to protect against NTHi infections. Areas covered: NTHi uses an arsenal of adhesins to colonise the respiratory epithelium. The adhesins also have secondary roles that aid in the virulence of NTHi, including mechanisms that avoid immune clearance, adjust pore size to avoid antimicrobial destruction, form micro-colonies and invoke phase variation for protein mediation. Bacterial adhesins can also be ideal antigens for subunit vaccine design due to surface exposure and immunogenic capabilities. Expert commentary: The host-pathogen interactions of the NTHi adhesins are not fully investigated. The relationship between adhesins and the extracellular matrix (ECM) play a part in the success of NTHi colonisation and virulence by immune evasion, migration and biofilm development. Further research into these immunogenic proteins would further our understanding and enable a basis for better combatting NTHi disease.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187-196
Number of pages10
JournalExpert Review of Anticancer Therapy
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 4 Mar 2018


  • Adherence
  • colonisation
  • Haemophilus influenzae
  • immune evasion
  • immunogen
  • non-typeable
  • vaccine
  • virulence


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