Biomaterial-associated infections are a problem in the use of endoprosthetic materials in the palliative treatment of malignant obstructive jaundice. Fibronectin has been reported to mediate adherence of bacteria to host tissue and biomaterials. Adsorption of fibronectin to rubber–representing material used for biliary drainage–and subsequent adherence of strain PSS1 and strain NG7C (which binds to immobilised fibronectin) were investigated. Quantitative adsorption of fibronectin to rubber slices was studied with I-labelled, purified human plasma fibronectin. In buffer solutions, fibronectin showed a high affinity for rubber slices. Adherence of the strains to uncoated rubber slices was similar and was significantly inhibited by the presence of plasma components and bile. Adherence of PSS1 to fibronectin-coated slices was poor. In contrast, NG7C adhered efficiently to coated slices in proportion to the amount of adsorbed fibronectin; adherence was not reduced by the presence of albumin or bile, or the fibronectin-binding ligands gelatin, heparin and fibrinogen. However, pre-digestion of coated slices with trypsin significantly reduced adherence.


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