Adherence of Ureaplasma urealyticum to human epithelial cells

David George Emslie Smith, William C. Russell, David Thirkell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Adherence of Ureaplasma urealyticum cells to eukaryotic cell monolayers was quantified using the Bertholet assay to monitor ammonia produced from urea by ureaplasma urease. Adherence was abolished by pre-treatment of ureaplasmas with HeLa cell extracts and inhibited to varying degrees by pretreatment of the ureaplasmas with N-acetylneuraminic acid, specific antisera and monoclonal antibodies. The data suggest the presence of several ureaplasma adhesins, some of which are species- or serotype-specific and some of which are proteinaceous and antigenic. The serotype-8-specific 96 kDa surface-expressed antigen may be one adhesin. Pre-treatment of HeLa cell monolayers with neuraminidase significantly reduced ureaplasma adherence and, using a novel 'immunoblot adherence assay', ureaplasmas were shown to bind to a number of HeLa cell components, three of which appear to terminate in sialic acid.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2893-2898
Number of pages6
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1994


  • Adhesins, Bacterial
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Bacterial Adhesion
  • Cell Line
  • Epithelium
  • HeLa Cells
  • Humans
  • Immunoblotting
  • Trypsin
  • Urea
  • Ureaplasma urealyticum

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