Nonfimbrial Adhesins of Escherichia Coli

  • Janina Goldhar
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 408)


Pathogenic Escherichia coli exhibit a variety of adhesins classified according to their morphology, antigenic structure or receptor specificity.

Morphologically, E. coli adhesins are fimbrial, fibrillar and nonfimbrial. This classification is based on varying appearances in the electron microscope (E.M). Fimbrial adhesins are relatively thick and rigid (5-7nm diameter), while the fibrillar types are much thinner, more flexible and curly (2-3nm diameter). Both can be demonstrated directly by negative staining procedure. A third group of extracellular adhesive structures can be visualized only after stabilization with specific antibodies and then they may possess a capsule-like appearance. (Jann & Hochutzky, 1990, Schmidt, 1994). The latter, generally described as nonfimbrial (NFAs) or A-fimbrial (AFAs), will be described in the following.


Blood Group None None Antigenic Structure Polysaccharide Capsule Decay Accelerate Factor 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Janina Goldhar
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Human MicrobiologyTel-Aviv UniversityTel-AvivIsrael

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