SUMMARY: Common type 1 fimbriae were isolated from and their length distribution profile was determined before and after treatment with ultrasound. As fimbriae were shortened, so their haemagglutinating capacity decreased, but their ability to bind to erythrocytes did not decrease to the same extent. Isolated fimbriae did not agglutinate inside-out vesicles prepared from horse erythrocytes or liposomes, suggesting that the binding mechanism was not based on non-specific hydrophobic interactions. The results support a lateral rather than a terminal location for the fimbrial binding site responsible for haemagglutination.


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