Assays to Analyze Adhesion of Group A Streptococcus to Host Cells

Methods Mol Biol. 2020:2136:271-278. doi: 10.1007/978-1-0716-0467-0_20.


The critical first step of Group A Streptococcus (GAS) pathogenesis is adhesion to the host pharyngeal and skin epithelial cell surfaces (Brouwer et al., FEBS Lett 590:3739-3757, 2016). Host-cell adhesion assays provide a straightforward model to study these host-pathogen interactions. Here, we describe the culturing of immortalized cell lines into monolayers to mimic host epithelia. Various GAS strains can then be added to study their adhesion properties. In addition, we describe the use of antibodies raised against the cell-surface components of GAS to study if these are able to neutralize the binding of GAS to the cell lines. This provides an indication if these cell-surface components are involved in adhesion and if antibodies generated against them function through neutralization.

Keywords: Antibodies; Host-cell adhesion; Immortalized cell lines.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Adhesion / immunology*
  • Bacterial Adhesion / physiology*
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism
  • Cell Line
  • Epithelial Cells / metabolism
  • Epithelium / metabolism
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions / immunology
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Pharynx
  • Skin / metabolism
  • Streptococcal Infections / immunology
  • Streptococcus pyogenes / metabolism


  • Bacterial Proteins