P-Fimbriae: Molecular Aspects of their Structure and their Application as Carriers of Foreign Antigenic Determinants
Urinary tract infections (UTI) are often caused by Escherichia coli. Properties associated with virulence include certain 0- and K-antigens, P-fimbriae, production of hemolysin or colicin and resistance to serum bactericidal activity. Adherence of the bacteria to the uroepithelium is considered to be an important initial event in the pathogenesis of UTI. Adherence and the ability to cause mannose-resis-tant hemagglutination of human erythrocytes are associated in most UTI strains with the presence of P-fimbriae (1). Pfimbriae, or pap-pili, belong to a widely occurring family of fimbriae, filamentous surface components composed of ä thousand protein subunits (for a review see 2). P-fimbriae specifically recognize the α -DGal(1–3) β -DGal moiety of glycolipids, which is also part of the P-blood group antigens (3, 4). Among P-fimbriae a number of different serotypes are discriminated, designated as F7–F14 (5).
KeywordsHypervariable Region Major Subunit Hypervariable Region Serum Bactericidal Activity Fimbrial Subunit
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