Molecular Mechanisms of Adhesion of Staphylococcus aureus to Cardiac Surfaces and Vegetations

  • C. M. Johnson
Conference paper


The initial event in many infectious processes is the attachment of the invading micro-organism to the host tissues. The ability of a particular micro-organism to adhere to host tissues is an important attribute determining its pathogenicity] relative to other strains of bacteria. The organ specificity of many infectious processes suggests that there often exists a special propensity for particular organisms to interact with and adhere to selected host cells. There are many examples that serve to illustrate this viewpoint: for example, group A streptococci possess special cell-surface determinants, or adhesions, which mediate attachment of the bacteria to oral epithelial cells [1]; enterotoxigenic strains of Escherichia coli possess adhesions that bind to specific receptors found on the surfaces of intestinal epithelial cells [2]; whereas E. coli strains that are associated with urinary tract infections possess adhesions that bind to uroepithelial cells [3]. These and many similar observations suggest that the pathophysiological basis for the relative organ specificity exhibited by many clinical infections may result from specific binding interactions between adhesions on the surface of the micro-organism and receptors on the host cell-surface.


Infective Endocarditis Dothelial Cell Adherence Event Oral Epithelial Cell Uroepithelial Cell 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. M. Johnson
    • 1
  1. 1.Section of Critical Care, Department of Pediatric and Adolescent MedicineMayo Clinic and Mayo FoundationRochesterUSA

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