PMID: 44702Nov 1, 1979

In vitro adherence of radioactively labeled Escherichia coli in normal and cystitis-prone females

Infection and Immunity
C L ParsonsJ D Schmidt


Numerous investigators report data obtained using an in vitro quantitative assay for measuring bacterial adherence to epithelial cells. We found this assay to contain significant sources of error in the large variation in number of bacteria bound per cell and in the dependence on the investigator's visual counting of bacteria bound per cell. In the modified assay described here, we eliminated the need for visual counting of bacteria by incorporating the use of radioactively labeled Escherichia coli. This allowed quantitation of bacterial adherence to as many as 50,000 vaginal cells, whereas the visual counting system limits the determination to perhaps 50 cells. We feel that the use of radioactively labeled bacteria in place of the visual counting system increases the validity and sensitivity of this assay. Using the modified method, we found no statistically significant differences among values for adherence of E. coli type 04 to the vaginal cells of control and cystitis-prone women at either pH 6.4 or 4.0.

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