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Infect Immun. 1997 Oct;65(10):4135-45.

Aggregative adherence fimbria II, a second fimbrial antigen mediating aggregative adherence in enteroaggregative Escherichia coli.

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  • 1Center for Vaccine Development, Department of Pediatrics, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore 21201, USA.

Abstract

Enteroaggregative Escherichia coli (EAEC) has been implicated as an agent of pediatric diarrhea in the developing world. We have shown previously that EAEC adheres to HEp-2 cells by virtue of a plasmid-encoded fimbrial adhesin designated aggregative adherence fimbria I (AAF/I), the genes for which have been cloned and sequenced. However, not all EAEC strains express AAF/I. Using TnphoA mutagenesis, we have characterized a novel fimbria (designated AAF/II) which mediates HEp-2 adherence of the human-pathogenic strain 042. AAF/II is 5 nm in diameter and does not bind AAF/I antiserum, as determined by immunogold transmission electron microscopy. TnphoA identified a gene (designated aafA) which bears significant homology to aggA, the fimbrial subunit of AAF/I (25% identity and 47% similarity at the amino acid level). When hyperexpressed and purified by polyhistidine tagging, the AafA protein assembled into 5-nm-diameter filaments which bound anti-AAF/II antiserum. The cloned aafA gene complemented a mutation in the aggA gene to confer fimbrial expression from the AAF/I gene cluster, manifesting phenotypes characteristic of AAF/II but not AAF/I. The aafA mutant did not adhere to human intestinal tissue in culture, suggesting a role for AAF/II in intestinal colonization. By using DNA probes for AAF/I and AAF/II derived from fimbrial biosynthesis genes, we show that AAF/I and AAF/II are each found in only a minority of EAEC strains, suggesting that still more EAEC adhesins exist. Our data suggest that AAF adhesins represent a new family of fimbrial adhesins which mediate aggregative adherence in EAEC.

PMID:
9317019
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC175595
Free PMC Article
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