1887

Abstract

Adhesion of micro-organisms to biotic and abiotic surfaces is an important virulence factor and involves different types of interactions. , a human commensal and an important opportunistic pathogen, has the ability to adhere to surfaces. Biliary stents frequently become clogged with bacterial biofilms, with as one of the predominant species. Six strains isolated from clogged biliary stents were investigated for the presence of specific biochemical factors involved in their adhesion: aggregation substances (Aggs) and the enterococcal surface protein (encoded by the gene). In addition, physico-chemical factors involved in adhesion (zeta potential and cell surface hydrophobicity) were determined, as well as the influence of ox bile on these properties. Two-thirds of the biliary stent isolates displayed culture heterogeneity in the pH dependence of their zeta potentials. Moreover, 24 out of 46 clinical isolates of , including 11 laboratory strains, also displayed such heterogeneity. The culture heterogeneity was demonstrated to be a stable trait, not caused by quorum sensing, not plasmid mediated, and independent of the presence of and Agg. Data presented show that culture heterogeneity in zeta potential enhances adhesion to an abiotic surface. A higher prevalence of culture heterogeneity in zeta potential in pathogenic as compared to non-pathogenic isolates could indicate that this phenomenon might play a role in virulence and putatively in pathogenesis.

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2006-03-01
2019-11-12
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