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J Infect Dis. 1983 Jul;148(1):125-30.

Adherence of Bordetella pertussis to human respiratory epithelial cells.

Abstract

Adherence of Bordetella pertussis to ciliated respiratory tract mucosa is important in the pathogenesis of whooping cough. The adherence of B pertussis to human respiratory epithelial cells was investigated using cells obtained by brushing at bronchoscopy. B pertussis attached exclusively to the ciliary tufts of ciliated cells. A mean +/- SEM of 5.0 +/- 0.3 organisms attached per cell when bacteria in a concentration of 2 X 10(9)/ml were incubated with ciliated cells. Organisms examined by electron microscopy were found to adhere to the cilia both by direct apposition and by filaments coursing between bacteria and cilia. The specificity of the adherence of B pertussis to ciliary tufts may explain the unique ability of this organism to infect the human tracheobronchial mucosa.

PMID:
6309991
DOI:
10.1093/infdis/148.1.125
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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