CD46 in meningococcal disease

Linda Johansson, Anne Rytkönen, Peter Bergman, Barbara Albiger, Helena Källström, Tomas Hökfelt, Birgitta Agerberth, Roberto Cattaneo, Ann Beth Jonsson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

141 Scopus citations


The human-specific bacterial pathogen Neisseria meningitidis is a major cause of sepsis and/or meningitis. The pili of N. meningitidis interact with CD46, a human cell-surface protein involved in regulation of complement activation. Transgenic mice expressing human CD46 were susceptible to meningococcal disease, because bacteria crossed the blood-brain barrier in these mice. Development of disease was more efficient with piliated bacteria after intranasal, but not intraperitoneal, challenge of CD46 transgenic mice, suggesting that human CD46 facilitates pilus-dependent interactions at the epithelial mucosa. Hence, the human CD46 transgenic mice model is a potentially useful tool for studying pathogenesis and for vaccine development against meningococcal disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)373-375
Number of pages3
Issue number5631
StatePublished - Jul 18 2003


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

Cite this

Johansson, L., Rytkönen, A., Bergman, P., Albiger, B., Källström, H., Hökfelt, T., Agerberth, B., Cattaneo, R., & Jonsson, A. B. (2003). CD46 in meningococcal disease. Science, 301(5631), 373-375.