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FEMS Microbiol Lett. 1999 Sep 1;178(1):81-5.

Incubation of Streptococcus uberis with extracellular matrix proteins enhances adherence to and internalization into bovine mammary epithelial cells.

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Department of Animal Science, University of Tennessee, Knoxville 37996, USA.


Two strains of Streptococcus uberis (UT 888 and UT 366) isolated from cows with clinical mastitis were co-cultured with bovine mammary epithelial cells (MAC-T) with and without laminin, fibrinogen, fibronectin or collagen. Incubation of S. uberis with extracellular matrix proteins (ECMPs) increased adherence to and internalization into MAC-T cells. Both strains of S. uberis exhibited greater adherence when co-cultured in the presence of collagen than with any other ECMP. However, adherence was always higher when strains were co-cultured with ECMP than in medium alone. S. uberis UT 888 adhered better to MAC-T cells than S. uberis UT 366. The influence of ECMPs on bacterial internalization into MAC-T cells was similar to adherence, however, differences among ECMPs were less noticeable. S. uberis UT 888 had a higher internalization index than S. uberis UT 366. It is possible that ECMPs induce or up-regulate proteins that selectively adhere to ECMPs which could serve as a bridge between the eukaryotic cell and the bacterial pathogen that leads to internalization of the ECMP-bound pathogen into the mammary epithelial cell.

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