In Vitro and In Vivo model to study bacterial adhesion to the vessel wall under flow conditions

Jorien Claes, Laurens Liesenborghs, Marleen Lox, Peter Verhamme, Thomas Vanassche, Marijke Peetermans

Research output: Contribution to journalA1: Web of Science-articlepeer-review


In order to cause endovascular infections and infective endocarditis, bacteria need to be able to adhere to the vessel wall while being exposed to the shear stress of flowing blood. To identify the bacterial and host factors that contribute to vascular adhesion of microorganisms, appropriate models that study these interactions under physiological shear conditions are needed. Here, we describe an in vitro flow chamber model that allows to investigate bacterial adhesion to different components of the extracellular matrix or to endothelial cells, and an intravital microscopy model that was developed to directly visualize the initial adhesion of bacteria to the splanchnic circulation in vivo. These methods can be used to identify the bacterial and host factors required for the adhesion of bacteria under flow. We illustrate the relevance of shear stress and the role of von Willebrand factor for the adhesion of Staphylococcus aureus using both the in vitro and in vivo model.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere52862
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments : JoVE
Issue number100
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Animals
  • Bacterial Adhesion/physiology
  • Bacteriological Techniques/instrumentation
  • Blood Vessels/microbiology
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Mice
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence
  • Staphylococcus aureus/physiology


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