Autotransporters but not pAA are critical for rabbit colonization by Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O104:H4
Ritchie, Jennifer M
Hatzios, Stavroula K
Schadt, Eric E
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CitationMunera, Diana, Jennifer M Ritchie, Stavroula K Hatzios, Rod Bronson, Gang Fang, Eric E Schadt, Brigid M Davis, and Matthew K Waldor. 2014. “Autotransporters but not pAA are critical for rabbit colonization by Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O104:H4.” Nature communications 5 (1): 3080. doi:10.1038/ncomms4080. http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ncomms4080.
AbstractThe outbreak of diarrhea and hemolytic uremic syndrome that occurred in Germany in 2011 was caused by a Shiga toxin-producing enteroaggregative Escherichia coli (EAEC) strain. The strain was classified as EAEC due to the presence of a plasmid (pAA) that mediates a characteristic pattern of aggregative adherence on cultured cells, the defining feature of EAEC that has classically been associated with virulence. Here, we describe an infant rabbit-based model of intestinal colonization and diarrhea caused by the outbreak strain, which we use to decipher the factors that mediate the pathogen’s virulence. Shiga toxin is the key factor required for diarrhea. Unexpectedly, we observe that pAA is dispensable for intestinal colonization and development of intestinal pathology. Instead, chromosome-encoded autotransporters are critical for robust colonization and diarrheal disease in this model. Our findings suggest that conventional wisdom linking aggregative adherence to EAEC intestinal colonization is false for at least a subset of strains.
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