PMID: 44701Nov 1, 1979

Factors influencing adherence of group B streptococci to human vaginal epithelial cells

Infection and Immunity
S M ZawanehW N Spellacy


Factors affecting the adherence of group B streptococci to human vaginal epithelial cells in vitro were examined. Maximal adherence was achieved within 15 min of incubation of bacteria with epithelial cells. Adherence was temperature and pH dependent; maximal adherence occurred at 37 degrees C and pH 5.5. Killing of streptococci with ultraviolet light or penicillin did not affect adherence. Similarly, adherence was not altered by preincubating epithelial cells at 65 degrees C for 30 min. Thus neither bacterial nor epithelial cell viability appears to be a prerequisite for adherence. Preincubation of streptococci at 65 degrees C for 30 min resulted in a marked decrease in adherence, whereas preincubation of group B streptococci with neuraminidase was associated with a significant increase in adherence. The adherence of strains belonging to five different group B streptococcal serotypes was not altered by group-specific or type-specific rabbit antisera. These findings suggest that the site for adherence on the bacterial cell wall is heat sensitive and is marked by sialic acid, but is not related to either group-specific or type-specific antigens.


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