The Influence of Intestinal Mucus on Plasmid Encoded Adhesion and Surface Hydrophobicity of Yersinia enterocolitica
The mucus gel covers the epithelium throughout the intestine. Enteric invasive microorganisms such as Yersinia enterocolitica have to travel through this gel before adhesion to and subsequent penetration of the enterocyte can take place. Therefore, it is possible for constituents in the mucus layer to interact with the microorganism. This may lead to a change in the subsequent ability of the bacterium to adhere to the brush border membrane (1,2,5,7). We have previously shown that the outer membrane protein YadA, which is encoded by the Yersinia virulence plasmid, pYV, contribute to the adhesive potential of Y. enterocolitica (9). The presence of YadA also confers surface hydrophobicity on the bacterium (6). Mantle et al. (5) recently reported that binding of this organism to brush border membranes was reduced in the presence of mucus. In this study we have examined whether changes in bacterial surface characteristics such as hydrophobicity occurs concomitantly with the mucus-induced decrease in adhesion.
KeywordsSurface Hydrophobicity Brush Border Membrane Yersinia Enterocolitica Virulence Plasmid Intestinal Mucus
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