SUMMARY. Nine strains of group B streptococci type III, five with R-protein (R +) and four without (R —) were tested for capacity to colonise the upper respiratory tract in mice and to adhere to human buccal cells. In the mouse model, 80-μl inocula of dilutions of overnight cultures of the strains in Todd Hewitt broth were placed in the external nares under light ether anaesthesia. A pilot experiment demonstrated that it was reasonable to study the throat colonisation 2 and 4 days after inoculation. Groups of 18-20 mice were then given inocula containing 8 x 10 cfu/ml of five R + and four R — strains. At day 4, significantly more mice were colonised with type III, R + strains (73% of the animals) than with type III, R — strains (44%) (p<0.01). In adherence experiments with human buccal cells, no difference was found between the R+ and R — strains. The results indicated that the higher colonisation rate among R + strains was mediated by mechanisms other than adherence.


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