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Microbiology. 2003 Jan;149(Pt 1):177-84.

A novel ColV plasmid encoding type IV pili.

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Department of Molecular Microbiology and Biotechnology, The George S. Wise Faculty of Life Sciences, Tel-Aviv University, Tel-Aviv, Israel.


Many septicaemic Escherichia coli strains harbour ColV virulence plasmids. This paper describes pO78V, a conjugative ColV plasmid from an avian pathogenic E. coli strain that encodes type IV pili in addition to other virulence-related genes and tetracycline resistance. Plasmid location of type IV pili genes was demonstrated using Southern hybridization and expression of the pili was demonstrated using RT-PCR and phage sensitivity assays. This is a first report of a ColV plasmid encoding type IV pili. Plasmid pO78V is a mosaic plasmid containing replicons and other genes typical to both IncI1 and IncFII groups. As type IV pili of Gram-negative bacteria are involved in several stages of infection, their presence on a ColV virulence plasmid could expand the repertoire of pathogenesis-related genes.

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