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Virulence. 2015;6(8):735-44. doi: 10.1080/21505594.2015.1094606.

Characterization of unstable pEntYN10 from enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) O169:H41.

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a Department of Food and Human Health Sciences ; Graduate School of Human Life Science; Osaka City University ; Osaka , Japan.
b Department of Microbiology ; School of Pharmacy; Tokyo University of Pharmacy and Life Sciences ; Tokyo , Japan.
c Research Institute; National Center for Global Health and Medicine ; Tokyo , Japan.
d Department of Molecular Bacteriology ; Research Institute for Microbial Diseases; Osaka University ; Osaka , Japan.
e Division of Microbiology; National Institute of Health Sciences ; Tokyo , Japan.
f The OCU Advanced Research Institute for Natural Science and Technology; Osaka City University ; Osaka , Japan.
g Department of International Health ; Institute of Tropical Medicine; Nagasaki University ; Nagasaki , Japan.


Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) serotype O169:H41 has been an extremely destructive epidemic ETEC type worldwide. The strain harbors a large unstable plasmid that is regarded as responsible for its virulence, although its etiology has remained unknown. To examine its genetic background specifically on the unstable retention and responsibility in the unique adherence to epithelial cells and enterotoxin production, the complete sequence of a plasmid, pEntYN10, purified from the serotype strain was determined. The length is 145,082 bp; its GC content is 46.15%. It contains 182 CDSs, which include 3 colonization factors (CFs), an enterotoxin, and large number of insertion sequences. The repertory of plasmid stability genes was extraordinarily scant. Uniquely, results showed that 3 CFs, CS6, CS8 (CFA/III)-like, and K88 (F4)-like were encoded redundantly in the plasmid with unique variations among previously known subtypes. These three CFs preserved their respective gene structures similarly to those of other ETEC strains reported previously with unique sequence variations respectively. It is particularly interesting that the K88-like gene cluster of pEntYN10 had 2 paralogous copies of faeG, which encodes the major component of fimbrial structure. It remains to be verified how the unique variations found in the CFs respectively affect the affinity to infected cells, host range, and virulence of the ETEC strain.


ETEC; Escherichia coli; cell adhesion; genetic diversity; plasmid

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