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Infect Immun. 2002 Dec;70(12):7161-4.

Neuraminidase expressed by Streptococcus pneumoniae desialylates the lipopolysaccharide of Neisseria meningitidis and Haemophilus influenzae: a paradigm for interbacterial competition among pathogens of the human respiratory tract.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia 19104, USA.


Both Neisseria meningitidis and Haemophilus influenzae are capable of mimicking host structures by decorating their lipopolysaccharides with sialic acid. We show that a neuraminidase expressed by Streptococcus pneumoniae (NanA) is able to desialylate the cell surfaces of both these species, which reside in and possibly compete for the same host niche.

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