LfhA, a novel factor H-binding protein of Leptospira interrogans

Ashulosh Verma, Jens Hellwage, Sergey Artiushin, Peter F. Zipfel, Peter Kraiczy, John F. Timoney, Brian Stevenson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

130 Scopus citations


The early phase of leptospiral infection is characterized by the presence of live organisms in the blood. Pathogenic Leptospira interrogans is resistant to the alternative pathway of complement mediated-killing, while nonpathogenic members of the genus are not. Consistent with that observation, only pathogenic leptospires bound factor II, a host fluid-phase regulator of the alternative complement pathway. Ligand affinity blot analyses revealed that pathogenic L. interrogans produces at least two factor H-binding proteins. Through screening of a lambda phage expression library, we identified one of these as the novel membrane protein LfhA. Ligand affinity assays and surface plasmon resonance analyses of recombinant LfhA revealed specific binding of both factor H and factor H-related protein 1. Serological examination of Infected humans and horses demonstrated that LfhA is expressed by L. interrogans during mammalian infection. LfhA may therefore contribute to the resistance of pathogenic leptospires to complement-mediated killing during leptospiremic phases of the disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2659-2666
Number of pages8
JournalInfection and Immunity
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases


Dive into the research topics of 'LfhA, a novel factor H-binding protein of Leptospira interrogans'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this