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Cell-surface components or appendages of bacteria that facilitate adhesion (Bacterial adhesion) to other cells or to inanimate surfaces. Most fimbriae (Fimbriae, Bacterial) of gram-negative bacteria function as adhesins, but in many cases it is a minor subunit protein at the tip of the fimbriae that is the actual adhesin. In gram-positive bacteria, a protein or polysaccharide surface layer serves as the specific adhesin. What is sometimes called polymeric adhesin (Biofilms) is distinct from protein adhesin.
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