adhered to and multiplied intracellularly in murine peritoneal macrophages in the absence of opsonins. The infective process in these cells was evaluated by viable bacterial cell colony counts of intracellular organisms and documented by transmission and scanning electron microscopy. Adherence of listeriae to macrophages involved surface interactions of the prokaryotic cell surface and eukaryotic cell membranes. Subsequent phagocytosis was seen to occur through a process in which host cell-derived pseudopodia surrounded and engulfed organisms leaving them within phagosomes in the cytoplasm of infected cells. This process of uptake of by macrophages occurred at 4°. Following invasion of the cell, escape of from the phagosome into the cytoplasm was initiated as early as 10 min into the infective process. Intracellular multiplication of bacteria continued for 8 h after inoculation at which point loss of adherent macrophages due to cell lysis was evident. The mean generation time of the organism in these cells was 58 min. The cellular and ultrastructural events of adherence to and phagocytosis by murine macrophages in the absence of antibody or complement have been defined.


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