Venous shear stress enhances platelet mediated staphylococcal adhesion to artificial and damaged biological surfaces

Corina Fallgren, Asa Ljungh, Boris Shenkman, David Varon, Naphtali Savion*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We investigated the role of blood components in the adhesion of staphylococci to biological and artificial surfaces under well-defined flow conditions by using the Cone and Plate(let) Analyzer. An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay-like binding assay with biotinylated bacteria determined the extent of bacterial adhesion to subendothelial extracellular matrix (ECM), polystyrene (PS) and adult bovine aortic endothelial (ABAE) cell monolayer. The presence of adsorbed plasma proteins on PS and ECM did not increase and in some cases reduced staphylococcal adhesion under flow conditions (200s-1). However, their presence on ABAE cells increased bacterial adhesion but to a level still lower than the adhesion to PS and ECM. In contrast, adhered platelets significantly increased staphylococcal adhesion to both PS and ECM, but did not affect the adhesion to ABAE cells. Furthermore, bacterial adhesion to the platelets coated ECM and PS under flow conditions (200s-1) was increased by 1.4 to 2.6-fold compare to static conditions. The platelet-enhanced bacterial adhesion was markedly inhibited by blockade of the platelet GPIb receptor. In conclusion, staphylococcal extensive adhesion to ECM and PS surfaces is increased by venous flow and mediated by surface adhered activated platelets via a GPIb dependent mechanism. On the other hand, ABAE cells demonstrated limited bacterial adhesion that is mediated by adsorbed plasma proteins. Our results suggest that under physiological venous flow conditions the intact vessel wall is less prone for bacterial adhesion than damaged vessel wall.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4581-4589
Number of pages9
Issue number23
StatePublished - Dec 2002


  • Cone and plate(let) analyzer
  • ECM
  • Endothelial cells
  • Plasma proteins
  • Platelets
  • Shear rates
  • Staphylococcal adhesion
  • vWF


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