April 21, 2020  |  

The Complete Genome of the Atypical Enteropathogenic Escherichia coli Archetype Isolate E110019 Highlights a Role for Plasmids in Dissemination of the Type III Secreted Effector EspT.

Enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC) is a leading cause of moderate to severe diarrhea among young children in developing countries, and EPEC isolates can be subdivided into two groups. Typical EPEC (tEPEC) bacteria are characterized by the presence of both the locus of enterocyte effacement (LEE) and the plasmid-encoded bundle-forming pilus (BFP), which are involved in adherence and translocation of type III effectors into the host cells. Atypical EPEC (aEPEC) bacteria also contain the LEE but lack the BFP. In the current report, we describe the complete genome of outbreak-associated aEPEC isolate E110019, which carries four plasmids. Comparative genomic analysis demonstrated that the type III secreted effector EspT gene, an autotransporter gene, a hemolysin gene, and putative fimbrial genes are all carried on plasmids. Further investigation of 65 espT-containing E. coli genomes demonstrated that different espT alleles are associated with multiple plasmids that differ in their overall gene content from the E110019 espT-containing plasmid. EspT has been previously described with respect to its role in the ability of E110019 to invade host cells. While other type III secreted effectors of E. coli have been identified on insertion elements and prophages of the chromosome, we demonstrated in the current study that the espT gene is located on multiple unique plasmids. These findings highlight a role of plasmids in dissemination of a unique E. coli type III secreted effector that is involved in host invasion and severe diarrheal illness.Copyright © 2019 American Society for Microbiology.

April 21, 2020  |  

Genome and Functional Characterization of Colonization Factor Antigen I- and CS6-Encoding Heat-Stable Enterotoxin-Only Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli Reveals Lineage and Geographic Variation

Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) is a significant cause of childhood diarrhea and is a leading cause of travelertextquoterights diarrhea. ETEC strains encoding the heat-stable enterotoxin (ST) are more often associated with childhood diarrhea than ETEC strains that encode only the heat-labile enterotoxin (LT). Colonization factors (CFs) also have a demonstrated role in ETEC virulence, and two of the most prevalent CFs among ETEC that have caused diarrhea are colonization factor antigen I (CFA/I) and CS6. In the current report, we describe the genomes of 269 CS6- or CFA/I-encoding ST-only ETEC isolates that were associated with human diarrhea. While the CS6 and CFA/I ETEC were identified in at least 13 different ETEC genomic lineages, a majority (85%; 229/269) were identified in only six lineages. Complete genome sequencing of selected isolates demonstrated that a conserved plasmid contributed to the dissemination of CFA/I whereas at least five distinct plasmids were involved in the dissemination of ST and/or CS6. Additionally, there were differences in gene content between CFA/I and CS6 ETEC at the phylogroup and lineage levels and in association with their geographic location of isolation as well as lineage-related differences in ST production. Thus, we demonstrate that genomically diverse E. coli strains have acquired ST, as well as CFA/I or CS6, via one or more plasmids and that, in some cases, isolates of a particular lineage or geographic location have undergone additional modifications to their genome content. These findings will aid investigations of virulence and the development of improved diagnostics and vaccines against this important human diarrheal pathogen.IMPORTANCE Comparative genomics and functional characterization were used to analyze a global collection of CFA/I and CS6 ST-only ETEC isolates associated with human diarrhea, demonstrating differences in the genomic content of CFA/I and CS6 isolates related to CF type, lineage, and geographic location of isolation and also lineage-related differences in ST production. Complete genome sequencing of selected CFA/I and CS6 isolates enabled descriptions of a highly conserved ST-positive (ST+) CFA/I plasmid and of at least five diverse ST and/or CS6 plasmids among the CS6 ETEC isolates. There is currently no approved vaccine for ST-only ETEC, or for any ETEC for that matter, and as such, the current report provides functional verification of ST and CF production and antimicrobial susceptibility testing and an in-depth genomic characterization of a collection of isolates that could serve as representatives of CFA/I- or CS6-encoding ST-only ETEC strains for future studies of ETEC pathogenesis, vaccine studies, and/or clinical trials.

April 21, 2020  |  

Multidrug resistance and multivirulence plasmids in enterotoxigenic and hybrid Shiga toxin-producing/enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli isolated from diarrheic pigs in Switzerland.

Enterovirulent Escherichia coli infections cause significant losses in the pig industry. However, information about the structures of the virulence and multidrug resistance (MDR) plasmids harboured by these strains is sparse. In this study, we used whole-genome sequencing with PacBio and Illumina platforms to analyse the molecular features of the multidrug-resistant enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC) strain 14OD0056 and the multidrug-resistant hybrid Shiga toxin-producing/enterotoxigenic E. coli (STEC/ETEC) strain 15OD0495 isolated from diarrheic pigs in Switzerland. Strain 14OD0056 possessed three virulence plasmids similar to others previously found in ETEC strains, while 15OD0495 harboured a 119-kb multivirulence IncFII/IncX1 hybrid STEC/ETEC plasmid (p15ODTXV) that co-carried virulence genes of both ETEC and STEC pathotypes, confirming the key role of plasmids in the emergence of hybrid pathotypes. All resistance genes of 14OD0056 that conferred resistance to ampicillin (blaTEM-1b), gentamicin (aac(3)-IIa), kanamycin (aph(3′)-Ia), sulfonamide (sul1 and sul2), streptomycin (aph(3?)-Ib, aph(6)-Id), tetracycline (tet(B)) and trimethoprim (dfrA1) were identified on a single 207-kb conjugative MDR plasmid of incompatibility group (Inc) IncHI1/IncFIA (p14ODMR). Strain 15OD0495 carried two antimicrobial resistance plasmids (p15ODAR and p15ODMR). The 99-kb IncI1 plasmid p15ODAR harboured only aminoglycoside resistance genes (aac(3)-IIa, aph(3?)-Ib, aph(6)-Id, aph(4)-Ia), whilst the 49-kb IncN MDR plasmid p15ODMR carried genes conferring resistance to ampicillin (blaTEM-1b), sulfonamide (sul2), streptomycin (aph(6)-Id), tetracycline (tet(A)) and trimethoprim (dfrA14). Filter mating assays showed that p14ODMR, p15ODMR and p15ODAR were conjugative at room temperature and 37°C. The co-localization of multiple resistance genes on MDR conjugative plasmids such as p14ODMR and p15ODMR poses the risk of simultaneous selection of several resistance traits during empirical treatment. Thus, preventive strategies and targeted therapy following antibiotic susceptibility testing should be encouraged to avoid further dissemination of such plasmids. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

April 21, 2020  |  

The bile salt glycocholate induces global changes in gene and protein expression and activates virulence in enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli.

Pathogenic bacteria use specific host factors to modulate virulence and stress responses during infection. We found previously that the host factor bile and the bile component glyco-conjugated cholate (NaGCH, sodium glycocholate) upregulate the colonization factor CS5 in enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC). To further understand the global regulatory effects of bile and NaGCH, we performed Illumina RNA-Seq and found that crude bile and NaGCH altered the expression of 61 genes in CS5?+?CS6 ETEC isolates. The most striking finding was high induction of the CS5 operon (csfA-F), its putative transcription factor csvR, and the putative ETEC virulence factor cexE. iTRAQ-coupled LC-MS/MS proteomic analyses verified induction of the plasmid-borne virulence proteins CS5 and CexE and also showed that NaGCH affected the expression of bacterial membrane proteins. Furthermore, NaGCH induced bacteria to aggregate, increased their adherence to epithelial cells, and reduced their motility. Our results indicate that CS5?+?CS6 ETEC use NaGCH present in the small intestine as a signal to initiate colonization of the epithelium.

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