Adherence of to HEp-2 and Caco-2 cell monolayers was investigated with 24 clinical isolates. Growth phase, temperature, multiplicity of infection and length of incubation affected adherence. Treatment of the bacteria with trypsin, sodium metaperiodate, mechanical shearing and the addition of cytochalasin B and cycloheximide to the monolayer significantly reduced the adherence capabilities of the strains investigated. The use of chloramphenicol to inhibit protein synthesis reduced the adhesive capabilities of bacteria grown in liquid medium and those subjected to mechanical shearing. Light microscopy, scanning and transmission electron microscopy were employed in the investigation of bacteria-bacteria and bacteria-monolayer interactions and indicated similarities with the aggregative adherence patterns of the Enterobacteriaceae. The presence of extracellular bacterial appendages and their correlation with increased adhesive capacity may indicate a role in the process of adherence.


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