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J Infect Chemother. 2008 Aug;14(4):333-6. doi: 10.1007/s10156-008-0626-z. Epub 2008 Aug 17.

Variation in the attachment of Streptococcus pneumoniae to human pharyngeal epithelial cells after treatment with S-carboxymethylcysteine.

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Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Bilkent University, Ankara, Turkey.


S-carboxymethylcysteine (S-CMC) is a mucolytic agent that can prevent respiratory infection by decreasing the attachment of respiratory pathogens to human pharyngeal epithelial cells (HPECs). Streptococcus pneumoniae is a major cause of respiratory infections. A previous study revealed that treatment of S. pneumoniae with S-CMC caused a decrease in the attachment of this bacterium to HPECs. In the present study we found that the effect of S-CMC varied according to hosts and strains. S-CMC treatment altered the surface structure of S. pneumoniae, resulting in a decrease of attachment, without affecting the virulence of the bacteria.

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