Adhesion, autoaggregation and hydrophobicity of 13 strains of Bifidobacterium longum


B. Del Re, Dipartimento di Biologia Evoluzionistica Sperimentale, via Selmi 3, 40126 Bologna, Italy (e-mail:


To identify bacterial traits related to adhesion ability in human bifidobacteria, 13 strains of Bifidobacterium longum isolated from human gastric juice and intestine were studied. Strains were tested for their capability to adhere to Caco-2 cells and classified as adhesive (Adh+) or non-adhesive (Adh–). Adh+ and Adh– strains were then investigated for their autoaggregation ability and surface hydrophobicity. Comparing the properties of Adh+ and Adh–, we observed that strains were able to adhere to cell monolayers if they autoaggregate and manifest a good degree of hydrophobicity as determined by microbial adhesion to hydrocarbons. These two traits could be used for preliminary screening to identify potentially adherent isolates.