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Oral Microbiol Immunol. 2006 Dec;21(6):415-9.

Adhesion and invasion to epithelial cells by fimA genotypes of Porphyromonas gingivalis.

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Department of Microbiology, Institute of Biomedical Sciences, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil.


Adhesion to and invasion of epithelial cells by the periodontopathogen Porphyromonas gingivalis is promoted by the major fimbriae, encoded by fimA. The microorganism can be classified in six genotypes, based on fimA sequence, and genotype II strains are more prevalent than others in periodontitis patients. This study aimed to determine the adhesive and invasive abilities on KB cells of different fimA allelic variants of P. gingivalis isolates. Twenty-two isolates and six reference strains representing the six fimA genotypes and non-typeable strains were screened for their adhesion and invasion abilities on KB cells, using standard methods. All strains were able to adhere and, except for one, to invade KB cells. However, these properties were not homogeneous among strains belonging to the same genotype. There was no correlation between adhesion and invasion efficiencies. Isolate KdII 865 (fimA genotype II) was the most invasive and the second most adhesive strain, whereas reference strain ATCC 33277 (fimA I) showed a low adhesion ability but was highly invasive. These data indicated that fimA genotypes of P. gingivalis are not related to the adhesion and invasion abilities on KB cells, suggesting that the increased prevalence and proportion of certain genotypes may be attributed to other characteristics besides FimA variation.

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