Ilse (I) Jongerius PhD


Complement, molecular microbiology and immunology


Complement evasion of Staphylococcus aureus
Department of Medical Microbiology, UMCU, NL
Promotor: Prof. J.A.G. van Strijp
Co-promotor: Dr. S.H.M. Rooijakkers


Research interests

My research focus and interest have always been the complement system. First, I have studied infection and immunity with emphasis on the complement system and  bacterial evasion. I have investigated the role in complement during bacterial infection and especially the mechanisms that bacterial employ to evade the complement system. The use of bacterial complement evasion molecules has given us important insights in the human complement system during infection, but was also used to crystalize important complement components.

To date, my research interest is shifting towards the role of complement in health and disease.  With a specific focus on factor H, the Factor H-related (FHR) proteins and C1 esterase inhibitor (C1-INH). I aim to unravel the functional role of FH and FHR proteins in health and disease. Next, I aim to use a complement evasion molecule to unravel the exact mechanism of action of C1-INH.


  • Cell culture
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Molecular biology techniques
  • Complement assays


2018-present Group leader Complement Research Department of Immunopathology, Sanquin, Amsterdam, NL
2014-2017 Assistant professor Department of Medical Microbiology, University Medical Center Utrecht (UMCU), NL
2013-2017 Post-doctoral researcher National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), Center for Immunology of Infectious Diseases and Vaccines, NL
2010-2013 Rubicon fellow Sir William Dunn School of Pathology, Oxford University, UK, MCR Centre for Molecular Bacteriology and Infection, Imperial College, London, UK

Other activities



  • 2014: VENI – NWO ZonMw (personal grant)
  • 2012: Meningitidis UK – co-applicant
  • 2010: NWO Rubicon – NWO ZonMw/ALW (personal grant)
  • 2010: EMBO Long-Term Fellowship – (personal grant)

Other publications

  • Structural Design of Chimeric Antigens for Multivalent Protein Vaccines. S. Hollingshead, I. Jongerius, R.M. Exley, S. Johnson, S.M. Lea, C.M. Tang. Accepted in Nature Communications.
  • Bordetella pertussis pertactin knock-out strains reveal immunomodulatory properties of this virulence factor. E. Hovingh, R. Mariman, L. Solans, D. Hijdra, H. Hamstra, I. Jongerius, M. van Gent, F. Mooi, C. Locht, E. Pinelli. Accepted in Emerging Microbes & Infection.
  • Hovingh, E.S., van den Broek, B., Pinelli, E., Kuipers, B., Rooijakkers, S.H.M., and Jongerius, I. Acquisition of C1 inhibitor by Bordetella pertussis virulence associated gene 8 results in C2 and C4 consumption away from the bacterial surface. PLoS Pathogens, 2017, doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1006531.
  • Hovingh E.S., van den Broek B, Jongerius I. Hijacking complement regulatory proteins for bacterial immune evasion. Front. Microbiol. 2016, doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2016.02004.
  • Jongerius I, Schuijt TJ, Mooi FR, Pinelli E. Complement evasion by Bordetella pertussis: implications for improving current vaccines. J Mol Med (Berl). 2015 Apr;93(4):395-402. doi: 10.1007/s00109-015-1259-1.
  • van der Veen, S., Johnson, S., Jongerius, I.,  Malik, T., De Jorge, E.G., Genovese, A., Santini, L., Staunton, D., Ufret-Vincenty, R., Pickering, M., Lea, S.M., and Tang, C.M. Non-Functional Variant 3 Factor H Binding Proteins as Meningococcal Vaccine Candidates. Infect. Immun. 2014;82(3):1157-63. doi: 10.1128/IAI.01183-13.
  • Ko. Y*., Kuipers A*., Freitag C.M*. Jongerius I*., Medina, E., van Rooijen, W.J., Spaan, A.N., van Kessel, K.P.M., Höök, M., and Rooijakkers, S.H.M. Phagocytosis escape by a Staphylococcus aureus protein that connects complement and coagulation proteins at the bacterial surface. PLoS Pathog. 2013, e1003816.
  • Amdahl, H., Jongerius, I., Meri, T., Pasanen, T., Hyvärinen, S., Haapasalo, K., van Strijp, J.A., Rooijakkers, S.H.M., and Jokiranta, T.S. Staphylococcal Ecb protein and host complement regulator factor H enhance functions of each other in bacterial immune evasion. J. Immunol., 2013, 191:1775-84.
  • Jongerius, I., Lavender, H., Tan, L., Ruivo, N., Exley, R.M., Caesar, J.J., Lea, S.M., Johnson, S., and Tang C.M. Distinct binding and immunogenic properties of the gonococcal homologue of meningococcal factor H binding protein. PLoS Pathog. 2013, 9(8):e1003528.
  • Jongerius, I*., von Köckritz-Blickwede, M*., Horsbrugh, M.J., Ruyken, M., Nizet, V., and Rooijakkers, S.H.M. Staphylococcus aureus virulence is enhanced by secreted factors that block innate immune defenses. J. Innate Immun., 2012, 4:301-311.
  • Stork, M., Bos, M.P., Jongerius, I., de Kok, N., Schilders, I., Weynants, V.E., Poolman., J.T., and Tommassen, J. An outer membrane receptor of Neisseria meningitidis involved in zinc acquisition with vaccine potential. PLoS Pathog. 2010, 6;e1000969.
  • Roussel-Jazédé, V., Jongerius, I., Bos, M.P., Tommassen, J., and van Ulsen, P. NalP-mediated proteolytic release of lactoferrin-binding protein B from the meningococcal cell surface. Infect. Immun., 2010, 78:3083-3089.
  • Jongerius, I., Ruyken, M., van Strijp, J.A.G., and Rooijakkers, S.H.M. Extracellular complement binding protein inhibits the formation of the catalytic subunits of convertases: C2a and Bb. J. Biol. Chem., 2010, 284:14973-14979.
  • Ten Broeke-Smits., N., Pronk, T., Jongerius, I., Bruning, O, Wittink, F., Breit, T., van Strijp, J.A.G., Fluit, A., and Boel, E. Operon Structure of Staphylococcus aureus. Nucl. Acids Res., 2010, 38:3263-3274.
  • Jongerius, I., Puister, M., Wu., J, Ruyken, M., van Strijp, J.A.G., and Rooijakkers, S.H.M. Immunomodulatory functions of convertase dimerization by S. aureus complement inhibitor. J.Immunol., 2010, 184:420-425.
  • Jongerius, I., Köhl, J., Pandey, M.K., Ruyken, M., van Kessel, K.P.M., van Strijp, J.A.G., and Rooijakkers, S.H.M. Staphylococcal complement evasion by various convertase-blocking molecules. J. Exp. Med., 2007, 204:2461-2471.