The role of fibronectin (Fn) and its natural receptors alpha5beta1 integrins in the interaction of P. aeruginosa with A549 epithelial cells was compared in the clinical isolate ER97314 and the reference PAK strain. Both strains expressed functional type IV pili, as shown by the results of the twitching motility assay. The ER97314 strain was highly adherent to immobilized Fn (640 000+/-20 000 CFU per well) while the PAK strain adhered less efficiently (70 000+/-10 000 CFU per well). Both strains adhered to A549 cells (33 400+/-1200 and 1200+/-100 CFU per well, for PAK and ER97314, respectively), only the PAK strain being significantly internalized (9430+/-2020 CFU per well). Cytochalasin D and genistein significantly decreased bacterial adherence of the 2 strains and caused also a significant decrease in PAK internalization. This inhibitory activity was not related to changes in the expression of alpha5beta1 integrins. Antibodies to Fn and alpha5beta1 integrins inhibited the adherence of the ER97314 strain but had no significant effect on PAK interaction with human cells. These findings suggest that only some P. aeruginosa strains can target Fn and their natural receptors alpha5beta1 integrins for adherence to A549 cells.