What is the role of invasiveness in the pathophysiology of Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) meningitis?

Updated: Jul 09, 2018
  • Author: Prateek Lohia, MD, MHA; Chief Editor: Niranjan N Singh, MBBS, MD, DM, FAHS, FAANEM  more...
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Passage into both the blood circulation and the immunologically privileged CNS appears to involve not only capsular epitopes that do not arouse an effective host immune response but also epitopes that may facilitate bacterial attachment to given endothelial receptors and subsequent invasiveness in target sites. Invasiveness likely also involves the capacity to develop and then shed such attachment-related devices as bacterial fimbriae.

Encapsulated strains of H influenzae, in particular the type b serotype, are responsible for most invasive infections. The polysaccharide capsule of these organisms not only confers virulence and invasiveness but also provides resistance to opsonization and complement-mediated bactericidal activities and inhibits neutrophil phagocytosis.

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