Non-Invasive Providencia alcalifaciens Strains Fail to Attach to HEp-2 Cells
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We investigated the adherence properties of six P. alcalifaciens strains with previously characterized differential invasive capabilities in HEp-2 cells. Highly invasive strains were found to attach to HEp-2 cell monolayers within 2 h post-infection and in large numbers on the eukaryotic cell surfaces within 3 h post-infection. In contrast, weakly or non-invasive P. alcalifaciens strains were non-adherent to HEp-2 cells even at 3 h post-infection. Highly invasive isolates were found to weakly bind F-actin using the fluorescent actin staining assay although these strains were negative for Escherichia coli attachment and effacing gene (eaeA) of enteropathogenic E. coli (EPEC). These results suggest that the strain variation in the ability of P. alcalifaciens to invade HEp-2 cells previously noted by several investigators may be linked to expression of key adhesin(s) on the cell surface of invasive isolates.
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