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Chapter: Medical Microbiology: An Introduction to Infectious Diseases: Haemophilus and Bordetella

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Haemophilus influenza - Bacteriology

Haemophilus that meet the species requirements for H. influenzae may or may not have acapsule.

Haemophilus influenza

BACTERIOLOGY

Haemophilus that meet the species requirements for H. influenzae may or may not have acapsule. Those that do are divided into six serotypes, designated a to f, based on the cap-sular polysaccharide antigen. The type b capsule is made up of a polymer of ribose, ribitol, and phosphate, called polyribitol phosphate (PRP). These surface polysaccha-rides are strongly associated with virulence, particularly H. influenzae type b (Hib). The nonencapsulated, and thus nontypable, H. influenzae can be classified by a number of typ-ing schemes based on outer membrane proteins and other factors. These protein systems can also be applied to capsulated H. influenzae but have no particular association with virulence.


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