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EMBO J. 1991 Aug;10(8):2055-61.

Inactivation of Campylobacter jejuni flagellin genes by homologous recombination demonstrates that flaA but not flaB is required for invasion.

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Department of Bacteriology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Utrecht, The Netherlands.


The role of the Campylobacter jejuni flagella in adhesion to, and penetration into, eukaryotic cells was investigated. We used homologous recombination to inactivate the two flagellin genes flaA and flaB of C. jejuni, respectively. Mutants in which flaB but not flaA is inactivated remain motile. In contrast a defective flaA gene leads to immotile bacteria. Invasion studies showed that mutants without motile flagella have lost their potential to adhere to, and penetrate into, human intestinal cells in vitro. Invasive properties could be partially restored by centrifugation of the mutants onto the tissue culture cells, indicating that motility is a major, but not the only, factor involved in invasion.

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