Send to

Choose Destination
Curr Eye Res. 1991 Apr;10(4):351-62.

Analysis of adhesion, piliation, protease production and ocular infectivity of several P. aeruginosa strains.

Author information

Department of Anatomy/Cell Biology, Wayne State University, School of Medicine, Detroit, MI 48201.


The role of bacterial piliation and protease production in Pseudomonas aeruginosa adhesion to the injured corneal epithelial surface and subsequent infectivity was examined using several bacterial strains, including three that were hyperpiliated. To initiate this study, bacteria were examined by transmission EM to confirm their piliation characteristics. The PAK strain, like pseudomonas ATCC 19660, possessed about 1-4 polar pili. The mutant PAK/PR11 lacked pili while PAK/PR1, DB2, a mutant of PAO1, and PA1244, a wild-type clinical isolate, were hyperpiliated. Ocular infectivity of these bacterial strains and mutants was examined macroscopically and histopathologically in mice and these data compared to the well-characterized ocular disease response of a murine model of infection with pseudomonas ATCC 19660. The PAK strain was infective, but less virulent than strain 19660 by both macroscopic grading and histopathological analysis of infected eyes. Infectivity of the PR11 mutant was similar to the PAK parent strain, while PR1, DB2 and 1244, all hyperpiliated, were not infective. To explore the hypothesis that hyperpiliated bacteria bound less well to cornea and thus failed to induce corneal disease, in vitro quantitative studies of bacterial adhesion were done using an ocular organ culture model. The PR1 hyperpiliated mutant bound significantly less well to cornea than the PAK parent strain, PR11 mutant or pseudomonas 19660, while DB2 and 1244 binding did not differ significantly from 19660 or PAK. Examination of protease production, another factor which may influence adhesion, revealed that only 19660 and DB2 produced detectable protease. This study provides evidence that non-piliated, non-protease producing strains such as PAK/PR11 possess alternate virulence mechanisms to facilitate binding to and infectivity of corneal tissue.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Taylor & Francis
Loading ...
Support Center