The study of adhesive forces between the type 3 fimbriae of Klebsiella pneumoniae and collagen-coated surfaces by using laser tweezers

Chja Han Chan*, Chia Chieh Fan, Ying Jung Huang, Hwei-Ling Peng, Long Hsu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Adherence to host cells by a bacterial pathogen is a critical step for establishment of infection. It will contribute greatly to the understanding of bacterial pathogenesis by studying the biological force between a single pair of pathogen and host cell. In our experiment, we use a calibrated optical tweezers system to detach a single Klebsiella pneumoniae, the pathogen, from collagen, the host. By gradually increasing the laser power of the optical tweezers until the Klebsiella pneumoniae is detached from the collagen, we obtain the magnitude of the adhesive force between them. This happens when the adhesive force is barely equal to the trapping force provided by the optical tweezers at that specific laser power. This study is important because Klebsiella pneumoniae is an opportunistic pathogen which causes suppurative lesions, urinary and respiratory tract infections. It has been proved that type 3 fimbrial adhesin (mrkD) is strongly associated with the adherence of Klebsiella pneumoniae. Besides, four polymorphic mrkD alleles: namely, mrkDvl, v2, v3, and v4, are typed by using RFLP. In order to investigate the relationship between the structure and the function for each of these variants, DNA fragments encoding the major fimbrial proteins mrkA, mrkB, mrkC are expressed together with any of the four mrkD adhesins in £. coli JM109. Our study shows that the E. coli strain carrying the mrkDvS fimbriae has the strongest binding activity. This suggests that mrkDvS is a key factor that enhances the adherence of Klebsiella Pneumoniae to human body.

Original languageEnglish
Article number98
Pages (from-to)724-731
Number of pages8
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2004
EventOptical Trapping and Optical Micromanipulation - Denver, CO, United States
Duration: 2 Aug 20046 Aug 2004


  • Adhesive forces
  • Bacterial
  • Optical tweezers
  • Trapping force

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