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PLoS One. 2017 Feb 8;12(2):e0171385. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0171385. eCollection 2017.

Escherichia albertii, a novel human enteropathogen, colonizes rat enterocytes and translocates to extra-intestinal sites.

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Departamento de Microbiologia, Imunologia e Parasitologia, Universidade Federal de São Paulo, Escola Paulista de Medicina (UNIFESP-EPM), São Paulo, Brazil.
Departamento de Microbiologia e Imunologia, Instituto de Biociência, Universidade Estadual Paulista Júlio de Mesquita Filho (UNESP), Botucatu, São Paulo, Brazil.
Departamento de Cirurgia, Universidade Federal de São Paulo, Escola Paulista de Medicina (UNIFESP-EPM), São Paulo, Brazil.
Laboratório de Biologia Celular, Instituto Butantan, São Paulo, Brazil.
Department of Microbiology and Biochemistry, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas, United States of America.


Diarrhea is the second leading cause of death of children up to five years old in the developing countries. Among the etiological diarrheal agents are atypical enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (aEPEC), one of the diarrheagenic E. coli pathotypes that affects children and adults, even in developed countries. Currently, genotypic and biochemical approaches have helped to demonstrate that some strains classified as aEPEC are actually E. albertii, a recently recognized human enteropathogen. Studies on particular strains are necessary to explore their virulence potential in order to further understand the underlying mechanisms of E. albertii infections. Here we demonstrated for the first time that infection of fragments of rat intestinal mucosa is a useful tool to study the initial steps of E. albertii colonization. We also observed that an E. albertii strain can translocate from the intestinal lumen to Mesenteric Lymph Nodes and liver in a rat model. Based on our finding of bacterial translocation, we investigated how E. albertii might cross the intestinal epithelium by performing infections of M-like cells in vitro to identify the potential in vivo translocation route. Altogether, our approaches allowed us to draft a general E. albertii infection route from the colonization till the bacterial spreading in vivo.

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