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Microbes Infect. 2006 May;8(6):1483-91. Epub 2006 Apr 3.

Adhesion and cytotoxicity of Bacillus cereus and Bacillus thuringiensis to epithelial cells are FlhA and PlcR dependent, respectively.

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Unité Génétique Microbienne et Environnement, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, La Minière, 78285 Guyancourt Cedex, France.


Some bacteria of the Bacillus cereus group are enteropathogens. The first cells encountered by bacteria following oral contamination of the host are epithelial cells. We studied the capacity of these bacteria to adhere to epithelial cells and the consequences of this interaction. We found that cell adhesion is strain dependent and that a strain mutated in flhA, which encodes a component of flagellum-apparatus formation, is impaired in adhesion, suggesting that flagella are important virulence factors. The bacteria are cytotoxic to epithelial cells and induce substantial cytoplasmic and membrane alterations. However, direct contact between cells and bacteria is not required for cytotoxicity. The determinants of this cytotoxicity are secreted and their expression depends on the pleiotropic regulator PlcR. Adhesion and cytotoxicity of B. cereus to epithelial cells might explain the diarrhea caused by these pathogens. Our findings provide further insight into the pathogenicity of B. cereus group members.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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