• Escherichia coli;
  • Cell invasion;
  • HEp-2 cell

Abstract In order to further characterize cellular invasion by enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC), we compared invasion of HEp-2 cells by EPEC and enteroinvasive E. coli (EIEC). We used a gentamicin HEp-2 cell assay and measured bacterial recovery under conditions of varying incubation time and temperature, and in the presence or absence of inhibitors of cellular microfilaments and microtubules. We found that, unlike EIEC, EPEC did not rapidly multiply within HEp-2 cell but invaded well at 32°C. While microfilament inhibitors reduced invasion by both EIEC and EPEC, microtubule inhibitors reduced invasion by EPEC only. These results suggest that EPEC and EIEC differ in their mechanisms of epithelial cell invasion.