We have identified a homologue of the adhesin AIDA-I of Escherichia coli in Neisseria meningitidis. This gene was designated nhhA (Neisseria hiahomologue), as analysis of the complete coding sequence revealed that it is more closely related to the adhesins Hia and Hsf of Haemophilus influenzae. The sequence of nhhA was determined from 10 strains, and found to be highly conserved. Studies of the localisation by Western immunoblot analysis of total cell proteins and outer membrane complex preparations and by immunogold electron microscopy revealed that NhhA is located in the outer membrane. A strain survey showed that nhhA is present in 85/85 strains of N. meningitidis representative of all the major disease-associated serogroups, based on Southern blot analysis. It is expressed in the majority of strains tested by Western immunoblot.