4 years ago

Physical stress and bacterial colonization

Physical stress and bacterial colonization
Michael Otto
Bacterial surface colonizers are subject to a variety of physical stresses. During the colonization of human epithelia such as on the skin or the intestinal mucosa, bacteria mainly have to withstand the mechanical stress of being removed by fluid flow, scraping, or epithelial turnover. To that end, they express a series of molecules to establish firm attachment to the epithelial surface, such as fibrillar protrusions (pili) and surface-anchored proteins that bind to human matrix proteins. In addition, some bacteria – in particular gut and urinary tract pathogens – use internalization by epithelial cells and other methods such as directed inhibition of epithelial turnover to ascertain continued association with the epithelial layer. Furthermore, many bacteria produce multilayered agglomerations called biofilms with a sticky extracellular matrix, providing additional protection from removal. This review will give an overview over the mechanisms human bacterial colonizers have to withstand physical stresses with a focus on bacterial adhesion. Bacterial colonizers of human epithelia have a series of means to withstand mechanical removal and other physical stresses, which include in particular surface-attached binding proteins that interact with human matrix components.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1111/1574-6976.12088

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