Survival of nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae in macrophages

Jane E. Craig, Anna Cliffe, Kay Garnett, Nicola J. High

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    In this study we have investigated the ability of nonencapsulated, nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae, NT477 to survive in the J774 mouse macrophage-like cell line. Viable, intracellular nontypeable H. influenzae could still be recovered from macrophages 72 h after phagocytosis. In contrast, H. influenzae strain Rd, an avirulent, nonencapsulated variant of a serotype d strain, was killed within 24 h. These differences suggest that NT477, in comparison to Rd, possesses unique attributes that enable it to survive in macrophages for prolonged periods. To determine whether this trait is ubiquitous amongst nontypeable H. influenzae, 33 primary clinical isolates obtained from children with otitis media were screened for their ability to survive in macrophages. Of these isolates, 82% were able to persist in an intracellular environment for periods of at least 24 h. The number of viable organisms recovered at this time ranged from 2 × 104 to 50 colony-forming units per strain indicating that the extent to which nontypeable H. influenzae can resist macrophage-mediated killing varies between strains. © 2001 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)55-61
    Number of pages6
    JournalFEMS microbiology letters
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 11 Sept 2001


    • Haemophilus influenzae
    • Intracellular survival
    • Macrophage


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