Mannose inhibition of Escherichia coli adherence to urinary bladder epithelium: Comparison with yeast agglutination


The adherence of piliated strains of Escherichia coli (E. coli) to mammalian epithelial cells has been reported by several investigators to be specifically inhibited by D(+)-mannose or its derivatives. Much of this work utilized mannose type compounds to inhibit agglutination of mannan containing yeast cells by E. coli to demonstrate mannose sensitivity. This report investigates the ability of the neotype strain of E. coli (which is sensitive to mannose inhibition of yeast cell agglutination) to bind and metabolize radiolabeled D(+)-mannose. In addition the relative efficacy of D(+)-mannose and heparin to inhibit the adherence of E. coli to rabbit bladder mucosa was compared. Results showed that although D(+)-mannose did block E. coli-yeast cell agglutination in a reversible manner, radiolabeled D(+)-mannose binding by E. coli could not be displaced by 1,000 fold excess unlabeled D(+)-mannose. This suggests uptake of the sugar as opposed to a surface binding phenomenon which was confirmed by the demonstration of significant metabolism of mannose by E. coli. The same concentration of D(+)-mannose which prevented E. coli-yeast cell agglutination was not particularly effective in preventing E. coli adherence to the acid denuded rabbit bladder. Heparin treatment of the acid denuded bladder was very effective in preventing E. coli adherence but was ineffective in preventing E. coli-yeast cell agglutination. This indicates that E. coli-yeast cell agglutination should not be correlated with E. coli adherence to mammalian epithelial tissue.

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This work was supported in part by grants from the Veterans administration, by NIH Grant #RO-AM-650804, and by the McCabe Fund

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Ruggieri, M.R., Hanno, P.M. & Levin, R.M. Mannose inhibition of Escherichia coli adherence to urinary bladder epithelium: Comparison with yeast agglutination. Urol. Res. 13, 79–84 (1985).

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Key words

  • E. coli adherence
  • Mannose binding
  • Yeast agglutination
  • Urinary bladder
  • Urinary tract infection