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Microb Pathog. 2001 Dec;31(6):261-70.

Teichoic acid enhances adhesion of Staphylococcus epidermidis to immobilized fibronectin.

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Institute of Medical Microbiology, University Hospital of Muenster, Muenster, Germany.


Adhesion is a prerequisite for coagulase-negative staphylococci to cause invasive disease and may be mediated by adhesive host molecules adsorbed on implanted polymers. In this study, we can confirm previous observations demonstrating binding of Staphylococcus epidermidis to fibronectin (FN) adsorbed polymer surfaces. So far, the nature of FN-recognizing adhesin(s) in S. epidermidis remains elusive. Since teichoic acids (TA) have been shown to exert binding functions for extracellular matrix molecules in several Gram-positive species, we have purified wall TA of S. epidermidis laboratory strains KH11 and RP62A, as well as clinical isolate AB9. Using a polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) coverslip adhesion assay, a microtitre plate assay and a particle agglutination assay, we found that purified TA significantly enhanced adhesion of S. epidermidis KH11 and RP62A to FN coated surfaces. Enhanced adhesion was dose-dependent and saturable. Preincubation, either of microorganisms or of FN coated surfaces, with TA promoted adhesion, while adhesion to TA-adsorbed PMMA was comparably low. This observation may suggest a potential role of cell wall carbohydrates as bridging molecules between microorganisms and immobilized FN in early steps of S. epidermidis pathogenesis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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