The Role of Glycans in Bacterial Adhesion to Mucosal Surfaces: How Can Single-Molecule Techniques Advance Our Understanding?
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionMicroorganisms. 2018, 6 (39), . 10.3390/microorganisms6020039
Bacterial adhesion is currently the subject of increased interest from the research community, leading to fast progress in our understanding of this complex phenomenon. Resent research within this field has documented the important roles played by glycans for bacterial surface adhesion, either through interaction with lectins or with other glycans. In parallel with this increased interest for and understanding of bacterial adhesion, there has been a growth in the sophistication and use of sensitive force probes for single-molecule and single cell studies. In this review, we highlight how the sensitive force probes atomic force microscopy (AFM) and optical tweezers (OT) have contributed to clarifying the mechanisms underlying bacterial adhesion to glycosylated surfaces in general and mucosal surfaces in particular. We also describe research areas where these techniques have not yet been applied, but where their capabilities appear appropriate to advance our understanding.