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Microb Pathog. 1992 Oct;13(4):293-303.

Changes in the structure of the cell surface carbohydrates of the chinchilla tubotympanum following Streptococcus pneumoniae-induced otitis media.

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Department of Otolaryngology, Ohio State University College of Medicine, Columbus 43210.


Streptococcus pneumoniae (Spn) are among the most frequently isolated pathogens in acute otitis media (AOM) and in otitis media with effusion (OME). Recently, the specific receptor for Spn has been identified as the trisaccharide unit Gal beta 1-4 GlcNAc beta 1-3 Gal beta with GlcNAc beta 1-3 Gal beta as the principal binding site. During the colonization of mucosal surfaces, pneumococci produce a variety of enzymes. This study was conducted to identify any resulting changes in the cell surface carbohydrate structure due to the action of these enzymes during pneumococcal otitis media (OM) in chinchillas. Using a lectin histochemical method with seven different lectins (SNA, LFA, WGA, Succ WGA, BSL II, PNA, ECL), the labeling pattern revealed not only the removal of the terminal sialic acid, but also the exposure of N-acetyl-glucosamine. These results suggested that Spn-produced enzymes uncover part of their own receptor structure and thus may facilitate adherence and subsequent infection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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