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Zentralbl Bakteriol. 1995 Apr;282(3):287-95.

Blood group phenotype determines lectin-mediated adhesion of Pseudomonas aeruginosa to human outer ear canal epithelium.

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Department of Otorhinolaryngology, University of Regensburg.


Pseudomonas aeruginosa is the most frequent bacterial pathogen causing acute diffuse otitis externa. In a recent prospective phase II study we demonstrated that lectin-mediated bacterial adhesion can be blocked by receptor-analogue carbohydrates in patients suffering from Pseudomonas aeruginosa-induced acute otitis externa. In this investigation, human ABO blood group antigens were analysed on outer ear canal epithelial cells with standard routine histological procedures by monoclonal antibodies for the blood groups A and B, and with Ulex europaeus I lectin for the blood group O, respectively. In all cases (n = 20) the blood groups could be shown immunohistologically. P. aeruginosa-specific adhesion and inhibition assays were performed in the presence of N-acetylgalactosamine (GalNAc), N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc), D-mannose and A-like substance. Outer ear canal tissue sections were incubated with P. aeruginosa (strain PA 60), presenting lectin-specificity for GalNAc. Sections from patients presenting with blood group A were closely settled with bacteria in the presence of non-specific GlcNAc, D-mannose and PBS however, GalNAc and A-like substance inhibited the microbial adhesion. Amongst others, P. aeruginosa present adhesion molecules (lectins) with specificity for GalNAc. Thus, the correlation between blood group A phenotype and P. aeruginosa-induced acute diffuse otitis externa was investigated. Statistical evaluation proved a highly significant association. These data support the hypothesis that P. aeruginosa lectins with GalNAc specificity apparently adhere to GalNAc moieties, representing the terminal blood group A-determinant and further indicate that patients presenting with blood group A may have a genetic disposition for this form of otitis externa.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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