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Investigations on the role of flagella in the colonization of infant mice with Campylobacter jejuni and attachment of Campylobacter jejuni to human epithelial cell lines

  • Diane G. Newell (a1), Harold McBride (a1) and Jean M. Dolby (a2)

Summary

The biochemical and biological properties of the flagella of Campylobacter jejuni have been investigated using two variants selected from a flagellate, motile clinical isolate (strain 81116): a flagellate, non-motile variant (SF-1) and an aflagellate variant (SF-2). Phenotypic and biochemical analysis of the strains and amino acid analysis of the isolated flagella suggest that the variants differed from the wild-type strain only in the absence of flagella and/or motility. The aflagellato variant poorly colonized the gastrointestinal tract of infant mice but the flagellate, non-motile variant colonized the mice as successfully as the wild-type strain.35S-labelled organisms were used to investigate the attachment of the variants to human epithelial cell monolayers in vitro. The flagellate, non-motile strain attached more efficiently to the cells than the wild-type strain or the aflagellate strain. Differences in attachment suggest that an adhesin is intimately associated with flagella of C jejuniand that active flagella mediate only a tenuous association with host cells. This adhesin attached most efficiently to cells of intestinal epithelial origin and was not specifically inhibited by various sugars.

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References

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