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Adhesion of three Lactobacillus strains onto human epithelial intestinal Caco-2 and Int-407 cell lines was compared. More adhesion occurred onto Int-407. The trypsin and sodium periodate pretreatment of bacteria revealed different mechanisms of adhesion depending on the Caco-2 and Int-407, involving carbohydrates and proteins. The absence of adherence for one Lactobacillus strain onto both cell lines indicated the specificity of the adhesion. Electron microscopic observations showed that bacteria adhered by underlying the brush border microvilli of the Caco-2 surface contrasting onto the Int-407 which entrapped and surrounded them by fimbrial extracellular cell matrix material.