Epidemiological evidence for the role of the hemoglobin receptor, hmbR, in meningococcal virulence

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Odile B Harrison
  • Nicholas J Evans
  • Holly S Grimes
  • Colin R Tinsley
  • Xavier Nassif
  • Paula Kriz
  • Roisin Ure
  • Steve J Gray
  • Jeremy P Derrick
  • Martin C J Maiden
  • Ian M Feavers

Colleges, School and Institutes


The distribution of the hemoglobin receptor gene (hmbR) was investigated among disease and carriage Neisseria meningitidis isolates, revealing that the gene was detected at a significantly higher frequency among disease isolates than among carriage isolates. In isolates without hmbR, the locus was occupied by the cassettes exl2 or exl3 or by a "pseudo hmbR" gene, designated exl4. The hmbR locus exhibited characteristics of a pathogenicity island in published genomes of N. meningitidis, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, and Neisseria lactamica sequence type-640. These data are consistent with a role for the hmbR gene in meningococcal disease.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)94-8
Number of pages5
JournalThe Journal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2009


  • Bacterial Proteins, DNA Primers, Humans, Meningococcal Infections, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Neisseria lactamica, Neisseria meningitidis, Receptors, Cell Surface, Virulence