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Adhesins of Escherichia coli associated with extra-intestinal pathogenicity confer binding to colonic epithelial cells.

Journal article
Authors Ingegerd Adlerberth
Lars Åke Hanson
Catharina Svanborg
Ann-Mari Svennerholm
Svante Nordgren
Agnes E Wold
Published in Microbial pathogenesis
Volume 18
Issue 6
Pages 373-85
ISSN 0882-4010
Publication year 1995
Published at Institute of Laboratory Medicine, Dept of Clinical Immunology
Institute of Medical Microbiology/Immunology
Institute of Surgical Sciences, Department of Surgery
Pages 373-85
Language en
Keywords Adhesins, Escherichia coli, metabolism, Bacterial Adhesion, Bacterial Proteins, metabolism, Cells, Cultured, Colon, cytology, microbiology, Epithelial Cells, Escherichia coli, isolation & purification, metabolism, pathogenicity, Fimbriae Proteins, HT29 Cells, Hemagglutinins, metabolism, Humans, Ileum, cytology, microbiology
Subject categories Microbiology in the medical area, Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Infectious Medicine


Escherichia coli adhesins are virulence factors in intestinal and extra-intestinal infections, but their role in normal intestinal colonization has not been defined. We investigated the intestinal adherence of E. coli with Dr hemagglutinin, S fimbriae, CFA/I or CFA/II, using freshly isolated ileal or colonic enterocytes and cells from the human colonic cell line HT-29. E. coli with S-fimbrial adhesins (Sfa I or Sfa II), P or type 1 fimbriae, adhered in a non-polarized manner, and in similar numbers to colonic and ileal enterocytes. S fimbriae of the variety Sfa II (originating from a meningitis isolate), mediated a stronger binding than Sfa I (of uropathogenic origin). Strains expressing Dr hemagglutinin adhered preferentially to the brush borders, slightly better to colonic than ileal enterocytes. Strains expressing CFA/I or II adhered to colonic and ileal enterocytes, although brush border adherence was predominantly observed with ileal cells. Binding to HT-29 cells paralleled binding to colonic enterocytes for all adhesin specificities except CFA/I. The results suggest that Dr hemagglutinin, P-, type 1- and S-fimbrial adhesins mediate binding to both colonic and ileal enterocytes. These specificities may contribute to the establishment of E. coli in the intestinal microflora, which precedes their spread to extra-intestinal sites.

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