Infections caused by Haemophilus influenzae are a major worldwide health problem. In particular, nontypeable strains of H. influenzae are a common cause of otitis media in infants and children. A vaccine to prevent these infections would result in the prevention of substantial morbidity and cost savings. A problem in identifying an appropriate vaccine antigen has been the enormous antigenic heterogeneity among nontypeable strains of H. influenzae. The present study was undertaken to characterize the conservation of the P6 outer membrane protein (~16,000 daltons) among strains of H. influenzae. A total of 20 type b strains and 20 nontypeable strains of diverse geographic and clinical origins was studied. Three approaches were taken. (i) Antigenic determinants recognized by monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies were present on P6 in all 40 strains tested. The molecular weight of P6 was identical in all strains. (ii) Comparison of the DNA sequences of the P6 genes from three epidemiologically and serologically unrelated strains demonstrated 100% homology at the amino acid level and 97 to 99% homology at the nucleotide level. (iii) Restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis demonstrated that the P6 gene and flanking sequences were highly conserved among all strains. These three independent series of experiments indicated that the P6 protein is highly conserved among strains of H. influenzae. P6 should receive serious consideration for inclusion in a vaccine to prevent infections caused by nontypeable H. influenzae.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Infection and immunity|
|State||Published - 1991|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases