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Infect Immun. 2006 Sep;74(9):5408-13.

Nucleotide sequence analysis of the enteropathogenic Escherichia coli adherence factor plasmid pMAR7.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Center for Vaccine Development, University of Maryland School of Medicine, 685 West Baltimore St., Baltimore, MD 21201, USA.


The complete nucleotide sequence was determined for pMAR7, an enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC) adherence factor (EAF) plasmid that contains genes encoding a type IV attachment pilus (Bfp) and the global virulence regulator per. Prototypic EAF plasmid pMAR7 is self-transmissible, unlike the smaller EAF plasmid pB171, which has no genes encoding conjugative functions. The tra locus, a highly conserved 33-kb segment found in pMAR7, is similar to the tra (conjugation) region of the F plasmid. ISEc13 copies flanking the pMAR7 tra region could potentially mobilize or delete the tra genes. Hybridization of 134 EPEC strains showed that a complete tra region is present only in strains of the EPEC1 clonal group. This study confirms EPEC's potential for dissemination of virulence attributes by horizontal transfer of the EAF plasmid.

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