Commensal Escherichia coli form biofilms at body temperature by expressing the extracellular matrix components curli fimbriae and cellulose. The role of curli fimbriae and cellulose in the interaction of commensal E. coli with the intestinal epithelial cell line HT-29 was investigated. Expression of curli fimbriae by the typical commensal isolate E. coli TOB1 caused adherence and internalization of the bacteria and triggered IL-8 production in HT-29 cells. In particular, induction of IL-8 production was complex and involved curli-bound flagellin. While cellulose alone had no effect on the interaction of TOB1 with HT-29 cells, co-expression of cellulose with curli fimbriae decreased adherence to, internalization and IL-8 induction of HT-29 cells. Investigation of a panel of commensal isolates showed a partial correlation between expression of curli fimbriae and enhanced internalization and IL-8 production. In addition, a high immunostimulatory flagellin was identified. Thus, the consequences of expression of extracellular matrix components on commensal bacterial-host interactions are complex.