Adherence of 18 staphylococcal strains to 13 types of uncoated plastic tubes made from 10 different plastic materials were investigated by binding of radiolabelled bacteria in phosphate-buffered saline for 2 h at 37°C. The different materials could be divided into five groups based on their ability to bind staphylococci. Lowest adhesion was found for plasticised polyvinylchloride. Simple assays for the relative binding of peroxidase-labelled human IgG or fibrinogen did not predict the result of adhesion studies. Neither bacterial surface hydrophobicity measured in a two-phase partitioning assay, nor hydrophobicity of materials (wettability) as measured by their contact angles in water correlated with bacterial adhesion. Adhesion of staphylococci to certain plastic materials was greatly influenced by the method used for sterilisation of the material.


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