1887

Abstract

is one of the leading causes of hospital-acquired infections, and indwelling medical devices are especially prone to infection. expressing aggregation substance (Agg) adheres to biomaterial surfaces by means of positive cooperativity, i.e. the ability of one adhering organism to stimulate adhesion of other organisms in its immediate vicinity. In this study, atomic force microscopy (AFM) was used to measure the specificity and non-specificity of interaction forces between cells with and without Agg. Bacteria were attached to a substratum surface and a tip-less cantilever. Two strains expressing different forms of Agg showed nearly twofold higher interaction forces between bacterial cells than a strain lacking Agg [adhesive force ( ), −1·3 nN]. The strong interaction forces between the strains with Agg were reduced after adsorption of antibodies against Agg from −2·6 and −2·3 nN to −1·2 and −1·3 nN, respectively. This suggests that the non-specific interaction force between the enterococci amounts to approximately 1·2 nN, while the specific force component is only twofold stronger. Comparison of the results of the AFM interaction forces with the positive cooperativity after adhesion to a biomaterial in a parallel-plate flow chamber showed that in the absence of strong interaction forces between the cells, positive cooperativity was also absent. In conclusion, this is believed to be the first time that the influence of specific antibodies on interaction forces between cells has been demonstrated by AFM, thereby experimentally distinguishing between specific and non-specific force components.

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2005-07-01
2019-10-21
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