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Vet Microbiol. 1999 Jun 15;67(2):99-112.

Binding of extracellular matrix proteins by animal strains of staphylococcal species.

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Department of Microbiology, Institute of Animal Physiology, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Kosice, Slovakia.


All 81 strains of Staphylococcus species isolated mainly from animals express high surface hydrophobicity as a stable property upon cultivation on blood agar. Bovine lactoferrin, human vitronectin, human fibronectin, heparin, human and bovine serum albumin were immobilized on latex beads to detect protein-binding cell surface components of 67 non-autoaggregating staphylococcal strains by a particle agglutination assay. Bovine lactoferrin was bound well by 22 strains (3 or 2) while 15 strains reacted weakly (1) and 30 did not react (0) with the lactoferrin-coated latex beads. The particle agglutination assay showed similar differences among staphylococcal strains in binding other proteins with the exception of human and bovine serum albumins for which 66 of 67 strains were negative (0). The specificity of the agglutination reaction was confirmed by a particle agglutination inhibition assay by preincubating bacterial cells with the protein (lactoferrin, vitronectin, etc.) used subsequently in particle agglutination assay. Autoaggregating strains together with some non-autoaggregating strains were selected for microtitre plate assay. According to absorbance at 570 nm, 14 strains were classified as non-adherent, 16 strains as weakly adherent and 18 strains as strongly adherent to bovine lactoferrin in microtitre plate assays. A direct correlation was found between the absorbance values at 570 nm of microtitre plate binding assay and test values obtained in particle agglutination assay. Binding of bovine lactoferrin to 81 staphylococcal strains as well as of human vitronectin and human fibronectin to a selected number of these strains was studied with radiolabeled (125I-labeled) proteins. Radiolabeled bovine lactoferrin was bound common by all except four strains (7 to 39%). Staphylococcal strains isolated from diseased pigs commonly bound 125I-labeled vitronectin (21 to 42% of the vitronectin added). Binding of vitronectin and lactoferrin was efficiently inhibited by preincubating of staphylococcal cells with sulphated carbohydrate compounds as heparin, dextran sulphate and fucoidan, but not by other non-sulphated highly charged glycoconjugates such as hyaluronic acid.

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