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Vet Microbiol. 2003 Oct 30;96(3):259-66.

Prevalence of the lpfO113 gene cluster among Escherichia coli O157 isolates from different sources.

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Department of Microbiology, National Veterinary Research Institute, 24-100 Pulawy, Poland.


Domestic farm animals represent an important reservoir of infection for Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC). Nevertheless the bacterial factors required to colonise these hosts are poorly defined. In this study, the prevalence of a recently described fimbrial gene cluster, lpfO113, among human and animal isolates of STEC was investigated. lpfO113 has been shown to play a role in the adherence of STEC O113:H21 to epithelial cells. Here the presence of the lpfAO113 gene (predicted to encode a major fimbrial subunit) was examined by PCR in E. coli of serogroups O157 and O26 isolated from pigs (n=38), cattle (n=10), and humans (n=9). In addition, we tested for several other genetic virulence markers including Shiga toxin (stx), intimin (eae), the translocated intimin receptor (tir), EHEC-hemolysin (ehx) and F18 fimbriae (fedA). Overall 45 of the 57 strains (79%) possessed the lpfAO113 gene as determined by the presence of a 573 bp PCR product. Moreover, there was a close correlation between the presence of the lpfAO113 marker and the absence of the eae gene. lpfAO113 was found in all of pig isolates, suggesting a possible role in colonisation of the porcine host. In addition, several E. coli strains isolated from pigs had two fimbrial gene markers, fedA and lpfAO113. lpfAO113 was not present in strains of E. coli O157:H7 as described previously. Overall these results show that lpfAO113 is widely distributed among eae-negative E. coli isolates and thus may represent an important adherence factor in this group of pathogens.

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