The binding of fibronectin, vitronectin, collagen and sialoprotein to 65 anaerobic strains was investigated by means of latex agglutination tests. The binding of fibronectin, collagen and lactoferrin to the same strains was also tested by means of I-labelled proteins. The strains were isolated from abdominal infections (55%), from the faeces of healthy subjects (29%) or from the depths of tonsils removed at tonsillectomy (16%). The binding of fibronectin and collagen to strains, tested by the latex agglutination assay, was stronger than their binding to other species. The vitronectin binding of the strains was less common, but was always accompanied by fibronectin binding. Binding to fibronectin-coated beads was inhibited by pre-incubation of the bacterial cells with soluble fibronectin and by heat or protease treatment of the bacterial suspension. No inhibition of the binding was observed with carbohydrates. None of the 65 strains exhibited any binding to fetuin or asialofetuin; 8% of the strains had a binding site for mucin. The binding to mucin-coated beads was inhibited by pre-incubation of the cells with mucin. The radiolabelling method indicated a low binding to I-fibronectin. The binding of I-collagen-I and I-lactoferrin was higher for the anaerobic strains tested.


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