A quantitative assessment of the mannose resistant, adhesive property of Escherichia coli from patients with ulcerative colitis and from controls was made using a buccal epithelial cell adhesion assay, which also permitted assessment of adhesion to cells from other host sources. E coli from patients with ulcerative colitis adhered to buccal epithelial cells to a greater extent than those obtained from controls (p less than 0.0001), but did not show an increased affinity for the buccal epithelial cell of their host, compared with those obtained from other sources. The mannose resistant adhesive property of E coli raises the possibility that it has a role in the pathogenesis of ulcerative colitis.
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