Summary: Adherence of C-labelled strains of to uncoated and saliva-coated silica and hydroxyapatite beads had both loose and firm components, probably reflecting different subpopulations of bacteria within a single culture. Adherence was characterized by the proportion of bacteria available for each type of adherence and a constant ) for each combination of bacterial strain and bead surface. Loose adherence, which was greater with silica than with hydroxyapatite beads, always involved many more bacteria than firm adherence. Firm adherence was greater with WVU627 than TF11. The association rate constants ) for loose and firm adherence were similar, indicating simultaneous processes, but the dissociation rate constant ) was lower for loose adherence than for firm adherence. Removal of loosely adhering bacteria by washing may only reflect their distance from the bead surface. Silica beads were convenient for studying bacterial adherence and formed an acceptable coating of salivary glycoprotein.


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