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Vet Microbiol. 1999 Apr 1;66(2):125-34.

Identification of a new Escherichia coli She haemolysin homolog in avian E. coli.

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Department of Medical Microbiology, University of Georgia, Athens 30602, USA.


Haemolysin is one type of virulence factor that assists in the pathogenesis of Escherichia coli. Currently, hemolytic activity in E. coli has been attributed to haemolysin genes found in either uropathogenic or enterohemorrhagic E. coli. Both haemolysins are classified as RTX toxins because they both have repeats in toxin domains and share similar operon organization, sequence homology, and mechanisms of action. Haemolytic avian E. coli isolates, however, lack either E. coli haemolysin gene. To investigate the avian E. coli haemolysin, a genomic library was made from an avian pathogenic E. coli. A haemolytic clone that was isolated was shown to contain homology with sheA, an E. coli K- 12 gene which causes haemolysis when present in high copy number. The cloned haemolysin gene, hlyE, lacked the conserved amino acid sequence and accessory genes common to all RTX toxins. DNA hybridizations and polymerase chain reaction amplifications showed that the nucleotide sequences homologous to hlyE were not present in a collection of three O157: H7 E. coli, five haemolytic canine uropathogenic E. coli, one haemolytic O26 E. coli, and three haemolytic avian pathogenic E. coli. Thus we have identified a new E. coli haemolysin distinct from the RTX haemolysins and have shown that some avian pathogenic E. coli possess a haemolysin with no apparent homology to hlyE or RTX haemolysins.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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