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Investigation on the potential involvement of Pil fimbriae in the adherence efficiency of enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC) strains that co-express the localized and aggregative adherence patterns to HeLa cells.

Abstract

Enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC) produce characteristic intestinal lesions (attaching/effacing lesions, A/E), being identified by the production of the localized adherence (LA+) pattern in HeLa cells. LA+ EPEC strains of the O119:H6 serotype constituted, for many decades, one of the most frequent childhood diarrheal agents in our environment. Curiously, we have identified O119:H6 strains producing LA and aggregative adherence (AA) simultaneously (LA/AA+). However, AA is characteristic of strains of the enteroaggregative E. coli (EAEC) pathotype, which colonize the human intestine forming prominent biofilms. We recently demonstrated that the horizontal transfer of an ~ 80 kb plasmid (pGM80) of an O119:H6 LA/AA+ strain to a non-adherent E. coli strain resulted in AA+ transconjugants. pGM80 sequencing revealed the presence of the pil operon, which encodes a variant of the AA-associated Pil fimbriae of some EAEC strains. Therefore, we questioned whether the acquisition by EPEC of AA-encoding genes could result in more virulent clones. However, Pil production as well as their involvement in the AA phenotype of LA/AA+ strains requires confirmation and studies on the distribution of pil in LA+ and LA/AA+ EPEC strains are needed. In this study, we intend to demonstrate the production of Pil and its involvement in the AA phenotype and biofilm production in LA/AA+ EPEC strains and to investigate and compare the distribution and expression of the pil operon in LA+ and LA/AA+ EPEC strains of different serotypes and geographic regions. The pil operons of other LA/AA+ strains will be compared by sequencing and the pGM80 transfer potential for strains of other EPEC serotypes will be evaluated. (AU)

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
GARCIA, BRUNA G.; CASTRO, FELIPE S.; VIEIRA, MONICA A. M.; GIRAO, DENNYS M.; UENISHI, LUCAS T.; CERGOLE-NOVELLA, MARIA C.; DOS SANTOS, LUIS F.; PIAZZA, ROXANE M. F.; HERNANDES, RODRIGO T.; GOMES, TANIA A. T. Distribution of the pilS gene in Escherichia coli pathovars, its transfer ability and influence in the typical enteropathogenic E-coli adherence phenotype. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF MEDICAL MICROBIOLOGY, v. 309, n. 1, p. 66-72, JAN 2019. Web of Science Citations: 0.

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