Glossary of Medical Terms

Our online medical glossary of medical terms and definitions includes definitions for terms related to treatment, and general medicine

FIMBRIAE, BACTERIAL

Thin, hairlike appendages, 1 to 20 microns in length and often occurring in big numbers, gift on the cells of gram-negative bacteria, particularly enterobacteriaceae and neisseria. Unlike flagella, they do not possess motility, but being protein (pilin) in character, they possess antigenic and haemagglutinating properties. They are of medical meaning because some fimbriae mediate the attachment of bacteria to cells via adhesins (adhesins, bacterial). Bacterial fimbriae refer to general pili, to be distinguished from the preferred use of "pili", which is confined to sex pili (pili, sex).
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