Thin aggregative fimbriae enhance Salmonella enteritidis biofilm formation

FEMS Microbiol Lett. 1998 May 15;162(2):295-301. doi: 10.1111/j.1574-6968.1998.tb13012.x.


Salmonella enteritidis enteropathogens produce a variety of potentially adherent fimbrial types including SEF14, SEF17, SEF18 and SEF21 (type I). In a simplified, pure culture, biofilm generating system the virulent isolate, S. enteritidis 3b, readily adhered to Teflon (polytetrafluoroethylene) and stainless steel forming thick cell aggregates. The inability of an isogenic SEF17-deficient mutant to form thick biofilms suggested a role for SEF17 in stabilizing cell-cell interactions during biofilm formation. Epifluorescent detection of SEF17 in biofilms confirmed the association of these fimbriae with aggregated cells but not with adherent mutants unable to produce SEF17. The reduced adherence observed with an isogenic SEF14/SEF21-deficient strain implicated the involvement of additional cell surface adherence factors, possibly including SEF21 (type I) fimbriae in the adherence of S. enteritidis to stainless steel or Teflon. The role of SEF17 fimbriae in biofilm formation and the contributions of SEF17 to the persistence of Salmonellae on surfaces and in food are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Adhesion / physiology
  • Biofilms / growth & development*
  • Blotting, Western
  • Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel
  • Fimbriae, Bacterial / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence
  • Salmonella enteritidis / growth & development
  • Salmonella enteritidis / physiology*
  • Salmonella enteritidis / ultrastructure