In this study, transmission electron microscopy was used to visualize the adherence of Lactobacillus acidophilus to human intestinal tissue cells (HITC) in vitro. There appeared to be a layer of electron dense material on the bacterial cell and on the intestinal cell which may mediate adherence. When L. acidophilus attached to intestinal tissue cells after a short contact period, it did not appear to disrupt the integrity of the intestinal cell. Treatment of the bacterium with sodium periodate and concanavalin A reduced the adherence to HITC, suggesting that a carbohydrate was involved. Electron micrographs of periodate-treated cells revealed that the layer appeared to be partially removed after 1 hour and was almost completely absent after 3 hours of treatment.
Hood, S. K. and Zottola, E. A.
"An Electron Microscopic Study of the Adherence of Lactobacillus Acidophilus to Human Intestinal Cells in Vitro,"
1, Article 12.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/foodmicrostructure/vol8/iss1/12