The diarrheal response of humans to some classic serotypes of enteropathogenic escherichia coli is dependent on a plasmid encoding an enteroadhesiveness factor

Myron M. Levine, James P. Nataro, Helge Karch, Mary M. Baldini, James B. Kaper, Robert E. Black, Mary Lou Clements, Alison D. O'Brien

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Isolates of the most common 0 serogroups of enteropathogenic Escherichia coli(EPEC) associated with infant diarrhea (designated class I) adhere to Hep-2 cells; the genes for this adhesin, termed EPEC adherence factor (EAF), are located on plasmids 50-70 MDa in size. Volunteers ingested 1010 organisms of an 0127:H6 Hep-2-adhesive class I strain (E2348/69) or its plasmid-minus, nonadhesive derivative. Diarrhea occurred in nine of 10 volunteers who ingested the parent strain (mean, 1, 178 ml) but in only two of nine who took the plasmid-minus variant (mean, 433 ml; P <.006). All volunteers ill from strain E2348/69 mounted serum IgA and IgG responses to a 94-kDa plasmid-associated outer membrane protein of E2348/69; this protein was found in other class I EPEC but not in enterotoxigenic or meningitic strains. The 5070-MDa EAF plasmid seems necessary for full expression of pathogenicity in EPEe that exhibit Hep-2 adhesiveness. EPEC isolates of certain other, less common, 0 serogroups (O44, O86, and O114) are rarely Hep-2 adhesive. These EPEC, designated class II, possess distinct 5070 MDa plasmids lacking EAF genes. Diarrhea was caused by 108 or 1010 organisms of an O114:H2 class II EPEC strain (mean, 1, 156 ml) in six of 11 volunteers. This result confirmed that class II EPEC are pathogenic by a mechanism not involving Hep-2 adhesiveness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)550-559
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Volume152
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 1985
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Infectious Diseases

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