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J Nutr. 2005 Oct;135(10):2445-8.

Human and bovine milk oligosaccharides inhibit Neisseria meningitidis pili attachment in vitro.

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Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, University of Kuopio, FI-70211 Kuopio, Finland.


Milk oligosaccharides have been shown to interfere with adhesion of many pathogens to host mucosal surfaces. Characterization of the adhesion mechanisms of the bacteria to host cell surface is needed to develop novel functional food, infant formulas, and anti-infective drugs. Adhesion of Neisseria meningitidis, a human specific pathogen causing meningitis and septicemia, is not completely understood but is mediated by type IV pili. Here, we developed a microtiter well pili binding assay to investigate the binding activities of N. meningitidis isolated type IV pili to different glycoproteins. Pili binding activities to bovine thyroglobulin and human salivary agglutinin but not to chicken ovalbumin were present. Inhibition of these binding activities was demonstrated by fractionated human or bovine milk oligosaccharides. The binding of neisserial pili to bovine thyroglobulin was most effective and was clearly inhibited by human milk neutral or bovine milk acidic oligosaccharides.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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