Staphylococcus epidermidis is the major bacterium causing prosthetic vascular graft infections and the ability of some S. epidermidis strains to produce slime is associated with pathogenicity. This study investigated the effect of protein binding of staphylococci as a possible mechanism affecting bacterial adherence to vascular graft materials. Slime- and non-slime- producing S. epidermidis strains and an encapsulated Staphylococcus aureus were incubated with Dacron or expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). The slime-producing RP-62A strain had significantly greater adherence to all materials than the other bacteria tested and coincubation with serum did not affect its adherence. The adherence of all bacteria was greater to Dacron than to PTFE. Serum increased the adherence of S. aureus to PTFE (P < 0.05) but did not significantly alter the bacterial adherence to other materials. This suggests that protein binding does not affect the adherence of S. epidermidis to prosthetic vascular grafts.
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