The effect of D-mannose on adherence of 73 Escherichia coli strains to vaginal and buccal epithelial cells from women with recurrent urinary tract infections, and on agglutination of human and guinea pig erythrocytes was tested. Urinary, vaginal or anal isolates from women with such infections were used. Of the strains 66 (90%) demonstrated adherence to epithelial cells. D-mannose inhibited completely the adherence of 25 strains (42%) that adhered to vaginal cells and inhibited an additional 11 strains (18%) by at least 50%. Similar results were obtained with buccal cells. The inhibitory effect of D-mannose was similar regardless of the origin of the strains. Hemagglutination frequently was inhibited by D-mannose but no consistent association between hemagglutination, and epithelial cell adherence and the effect of D-mannose was observed. The results suggest that mannose-sensitive as well as mannose-resistant adhesins frequently mediate Escherichia coli adherence to vaginal epithelial cells, and may contribute to vaginal colonization and cystitis.
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