The mechanisms by which Mycobacterium leprae invades the human host are presently unknown. We investigated the ability of M. leprae to bind to human RPMI 2650 cells, a human nasal septal epithelial cell line, using both microscopic observation and an ELISA technique. The results demonstrated that M. leprae adheres to nasal cells after binding to soluble fibronectin. Furthermore, it was observed that M. leprae could bind to the beta 1 chain of the integrins in the absence of serum or mucus. These results demonstrated that M. leprae uses fibronectin and fibronectin receptors on the surface of epithelial cells to bind and possibly invade the nasal epithelial cells.