Atomic Force Spectroscopy Evidence of Non-Specific Adhesion of Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans
Abstract:Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans is a gram-negative periodontopathogen found within the subgingival plaque on the tooth surface. It is associated with localized aggressive periodontitis, a severe form of periodontitis in adolescents, and is the cause various extra-oral infections. The ability of this organism to tenaciously adhere to abiotic surfaces has been attributed to bundle-forming type IVb-like fimbriae whose major component is the fimbrial lower molecular weight protein (Flp). In this study the adhesion of purified Flp fimbriae isolated from A. actinomycetemcomitans to materials with different surface chemistries was measured using atomic force microscopy (AFM). The adhesion of Flp fimbriae to uncoated and saliva-coated tooth, hydroxylapatite, and glass surfaces was compared. Force data were used to quantify the magnitude of adhesion of the fimbriae and force-distance profiles were used to predict the mechanisms of adhesion. The results of this study confirm that non-specific interactions likely dominate the adhesion of these fimbriae to the surfaces used in this study. However, force data indicate that non-specific electrostatic interactions may be more significant under the conditions used in this study. Salivary coatings did affect both the hydrophobicity and adhesion of these fimbriae to the surfaces used in this study. Additionally, these data demonstrate the affect of salivary proteins on bacterial adhesion in the oral cavity.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: October 1, 2011
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