The adherence of six non-mucoid and three mucoid strains of to polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polyurethane (PU) and siliconised latex (SL) was evaluated by a radiometric method and scanning electronmicroscopy. Initially greater numbers of mucoid than non-mucoid strains adhered to all three materials. Hydrophobic non-mucoid strains adhered more efficiently than hydrophilic strains. Numbers of adherent non-mucoid cells increased with time, reaching a peak, which was different for each strain, at 1–4h for PU, 4 h–2 days for SL and 2–3 days for PVC; thereafter a gradual decrease was observed, maximal and final values of adherence being higher with PVC and SL than with PU. Adherence of mucoid strains increased with time in 3–5 days, until a stready state was reached. We conclude that although non-mucoid strains of initially colonise plastic surfaces better than mucoid strains, mucoid strains also persist on these surfaces.


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