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,"
Food Structure: Vol. 8
, Article 12.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/foodmicrostructure/vol8/iss1/12