PMID: 24002Jan 1, 1978

Attachment of Bacteroides melaninogenicus subsp. asaccharolyticus to oral surfaces and its possible role in colonization of the mouth and of periodontal pockets

Infection and Immunity
J Slots, R J Gibbons


This investigation examined the ability of cells of Bacteroides melaninogenicus subsp. asaccharolyticus 381 to adhere to surfaces that might be important for its initial colonization of the mouth and its subsequent colonization in periodontal pockets. Of 48 asaccharolytic strains of B. melaninogenicus, 47 agglutinated human erythrocytes, whereas none of 20 fermentative strains, which included reference cultures of the subspecies intermedius and melaninogenicus, were active. Electron microscopy indicated that both asaccharolytic and fermentative strains possessed pili; hence, the presence of pili did not correlate with the hemagglutinating activities of B. melaninogenicus strains. Both asaccharolytic and fermentative B. melaninogenicus strains suspended in phosphate-buffered saline adhered in high numbers to buccal epithelial cells and to the surfaces of several gram-positive bacteria tested, including Actinomyces viscosus, A. naeslundii, A. israelii, Streptococcus sanguis, and S. mitis. B. melaninogenicus subsp. asaccharolyticus 381 also attached, but in comparatively low numbers, to untreated and to saliva-treated hydroxyapatite. Addition of clarified whole saliva to suspensions of strain 381 almost completely eliminated adher...Continue Reading


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