PMID: 7028137Nov 5, 1981

A new test based on 'salting out' to measure relative surface hydrophobicity of bacterial cells

Biochimica Et Biophysica Acta
M LindahlS Hjertén


A simple method for quantification of the hydrophobic surface properties of bacteria is described. The method is based on precipitation of cells by salts, for instance (NH4)2SO4. The order in which cells are precipitated is a measure of their surface hydrophobicities, the most hydrophobic cells being first precipitated at low salt concentration. Temperature, pH, time and the bacterial cell concentration were shown to affect the results. When these variables were kept constant the method was highly reproducible. This 'salting out' method was applied to enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli strains with different surface protein antigens (fimbriae, fibrillae and colonization factor antigen, CFA). These enterotoxigenic E. coli strains were found to have surface hydrophobicity in the following order: CFA/I greater than CFA/II greater than K88 similar to K99 greater than type 1.


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