Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, John Radcliffe Hospital, Headington, Oxford OX3 9DS, UK. email@example.com
Research into Haemophilus influenzae, a commensal and pathogen of humans, has resulted in major scientific contributions to biology. The first endonucleases (restriction enzymes), which paved the way for the new genetics, and the DNA used to obtain the first complete genome sequence of a free-living organism were obtained from H. influenzae. Prevention of invasive bacterial infections of infants, such as meningitis, has been achieved using a novel class of vaccines, of which the glycoconjugates of H. influenzae were the first to be licensed. Originally fallaciously proposed to be the aetiological agent of epidemic influenza, now known to be caused by a virus, H. influenzae is a pathogen of global public health importance. Research into the pathogenesis of the infections it causes (for example, meningitis, septicaemia, pneumonia and otitis media) are case studies in understanding the molecular basis of the variation in gene expression and gene sequences that are critical to its commensal and virulence behaviour and for the strategies that can be pursued to prevent H. influenzae diseases through vaccines.
PMID: 19332802 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]View More