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Curr Microbiol. 2011 Aug;63(2):131-7. doi: 10.1007/s00284-011-9947-8. Epub 2011 May 28.

Analysis of Escherichia coli isolated from patients affected by Crohn's disease.

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Department of Clinical and Biological Sciences, Faculty of Medicine S. Luigi Gonzaga, University of Torino, S. Luigi Gonzaga Hospital, Regione Gonzole 10, Orbassano, Turin, Italy.


The etiopathogenesis of Crohn's disease (CD) is still controversial: several genetic, immunologic, and environmental factors, including some bacteria, have been implicated. This study has been devised to assess the involvement of Escherichia coli in CD. Seven E. coli strains were isolated from 14 biopsies obtained from ileocolic ulcers of patients affected by inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), including six with ulcerative colitis and eight with CD. Five strains, exclusively isolated from CD patients, were found inside mucosal cells. Different PCR techniques (for chuA, yjaA, TspE4.C2, escV, and bfpB genes) were performed and PFGE was carried out to characterize these bacteria in comparison with other E. coli strains isolated from non-IBD specimens. The correlation of these characters with bacterial invasiveness on intestinal (Caco-2) and phagocytic (U937) cells was assessed. Overall our pilot data suggest that five among eight strains isolated from CD patients belonged to the adherent-invasive E. coli (AIEC) group, and were invasive on Caco-2 cells and resistant to phagocytosis. These findings suggest that these bacteria could be considered target organisms whose elimination could reduce the intestinal inflammatory process and CD progression.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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