Escherichia coli O157: H7 forms attaching and effacing lesions at the terminal rectum of cattle and colonization requires the LEE4 operon

Stuart W. Naylor, Andrew J. Roe, Pablo Nart, Kevin J. Spears, David George Emslie Smith, J. Christopher Low, David L. Gally

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

107 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia coli O157 : H7 is a human pathogen that causes no apparent disease in cattle, its primary reservoir host. Recent research has demonstrated that E. coli O157 : H7 predominately colonizes the distal few centimetres of the bovine rectum, and in this study, the LEE4 operon encoding a type III secretion system translocon and associated proteins was shown to be essential for colonization. A deletion mutant of LEE4 failed to colonize cattle, in contrast to a co-inoculated strain containing a chromosomal complement of the operon, therefore fulfilling 'molecular' Koch's postulates for this virulence determinant. In addition, attaching and effacing (A/E) lesions were detectable in E. coli O157 : H7 microcolonies from the terminal rectum of both naturally and experimentally colonized cattle when examined by transmission electron microscopy. This study proves that type III secretion is required for colonization of cattle by E. coli O157 : H7, and that A/E lesion formation occurs at the bovine terminal rectum within E. coli O157 : H7 microcolonies. The research confirms the value of using type III secreted proteins as vaccine candidates in cattle.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2773-2781
Number of pages9
JournalMicrobiology
Volume151
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2005

Keywords

  • Animals
  • Antigens, Bacterial
  • Bacterial Adhesion
  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Cattle
  • Escherichia coli O157
  • Escherichia coli Proteins
  • Feces
  • Fimbriae, Bacterial
  • Gastrointestinal Tract
  • Operon
  • Peyer's Patches
  • Phosphoproteins
  • Rectum
  • Virulence Factors

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