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Appl Environ Microbiol. 1998 Jan;64(1):21-6.

Surface properties of bifidobacterial strains of human origin.

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  • 1Centro de Investigación y Desarrollo en Criotecnología de Alimentos, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas, Universidad Nacional de La Plata, Argentina.


The adherence of Bifidobacterium strains isolated from infant feces and commercial fermented dairy products to enterocyte-like cells was correlated with the autoagglutination and hemagglutination properties of these organisms. These results allowed us to define two groups: (i) cell-adherent bacteria showing hemagglutination and autoagglutination and (ii) non-cell-adherent, nonhemagglutinating, nonautoagglutinating bacteria. Glass adherence was shown to be nonspecific and was discarded as a criterion for selection of adherent cells. Hydrophobicity appeared to be necessary for adhesion to enterocyte-like cells and autoagglutination. Adhesive strains were highly hydrophobic, and the degree of adherence was slightly dependent on the surface potential. Cells autoagglutinated more when the electrostatic negative charges on the cell surface were shielded by a decrease in the pH from 7 to 2. However, in some strains negative charges at the cell surface were adjuvant to adhesion, thus suggesting that specific chemical interactions occurred. The present results provide a method for preliminary selection of bacteria potentially adherent to epithelial cells by means of autoagglutination.

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