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Br J Vener Dis. 1976 Apr;52(2):128-35.

Attachment of gonococci to sperm. Influence of physical and chemical factors.


Neisseria gonorrhoeae of pilated T1 and nonpilated T4 colony types attached themselves to human sperm in greatest numbers and most reproducibly when suspensions of the cells were incubated at 35 degrees C in Ringer's solution, pH 6-8. After incubation for 15 or 30 min. in a water bath shaker, 50 per cent. of human sperm had T1 gonococci attached and 25 per cent. T4. Sperm and both types of gonococci were pre-incubated separately with various chemical agents, selected because the agent is found in genital fluids, or has a known effect on bacterial cell walls or sperm membrane. After treatment, sperm were washed or were not washed, and were then tested for attachment by mixture with untreated gonococci. Treated gonococci were handled in the same manner. Change in the percentage of attachment was defined as deviation from the range expected on the basis of a standard curve. Treatment of sperm with the nucleotides, ATP or cAMP, curtailed attachment by T1 gonococci but had no effect on attachment by T4.

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