Inhibition of bacterial adherence to hydrocarbons and epithelial cells by emulsan

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Acinetobacter calcoaceticus RAG-1 and BD413, as well as Streptococcus pyogenes M-5, adhered to octane. Adherence was inhibited by emulsan (100 μg/ml), the polymeric emulsifying agent produced by A. calcoaceticus RAG-1. Emulsan also inhibited adherence of S. pyogenes and RAG-1 to buccal epithelial cells. The mean values of bound S. pyogenes per epithelial cell were 57.2 and 20.7 for the control and emulsan-containing suspensions, respectively; mean values of bound RAG-1 per epithelial cell were 221 for the control and 40 for the suspension containing 100 μg of emulsan per ml. Desorption of previously bound RAG-1 from epithelial cells by emulsan was concentration dependent: a maximum of 80% desorption was obtained with 200 μg of emulsan per ml. The data showing that emulsan desorbed 70% of the indigenous bacterial flora from buccal epithelial cells suggest that hydrophobic interactions mediate not only the in vitro adherence of laboratory strains to epithelial cells, but actually govern the adherence of the majority of the bacteria that colonize this surface. The advantages of using emulsan as an antiadherence agent include its chemical purity, stability, and polymeric nature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1024-1028
Number of pages5
JournalInfection and Immunity
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1983


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