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C10: Structure and function of the polysaccharide intercellular adhesin (PIA) in staphylococcal biofilms

Keywords: Foreign-body infection; polysaccharide intercellular adhesin; biofilm; Staphylococcus epidermidis; glycocalyx

Staphylococcus epidermidis is the leading cause of infections related to implanted biomaterials. Accumulation into adherent multi-layered biofilms due to production of the polysaccharide intercellular adhesion is essential for the pathogenesis of these infections. Modification of the structure of PIA under different physiological conditions will be investigated. Additionally, the structure of a cross-reactive polysaccharide PIAv will be compared to PIA. These results will lead to the elucidation of essential features of structure and function of PIA in intercellular adhesion and biofilm accumulation. Using affinity chromatography specific protein receptors for PIA will be identified and functionally characterized. In addition, antisera against PIA-protein conjugate vaccines will be prepared and investigated for their effect on intercellular adhesion and phagocytosis of S. epidermidis. Thus the role of specific glycan structures of S. epidermidis for biofilm accumulation will be characterize on a molecular level leading to new options for prevention and therapy of persistent biomaterial-related S. epidermidis infections.


Prof. Dr. med. Dietrich Mack

Institut für Medizinische Mikrobiologie und Immunologie
Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf
Martinistr. 52
20246 Hamburg

Telefon: 040-42803-2143
Telefax: 040-42803-4881

Last Change: 28.12.2006 by Matthias Vill
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