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Mol Microbiol. 1993 Oct;10(1):143-55.

Isogenic P-fimbrial deletion mutants of pyelonephritogenic Escherichia coli: the role of alpha Gal(1-4) beta Gal binding in virulence of a wild-type strain.

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Department of Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore 21201.


Escherichia coli strains causing acute pyelonephritis often express multiple fimbrial types and haemolysin, which may contribute to their ability to adhere to, and interact with, kidney epithelial cells. Strain CFT073, a pap+, sfa+, pil+, hly+ pyelonephritis strain, previously established as virulent in the CBA mouse model of ascending urinary tract infection and cytotoxic for cultured human renal epithelial cells, was selected for construction of isogenic strains. From a gene bank of this strain, two distinct copies of the pap operon were isolated. The two P-fimbrial determinants were subcloned into pCVD442, a positive selection suicide vector containing the sacB gene of Bacillus subtilis. Deletion mutations were introduced into each of the two constructs, within papEFG of one operon and papDEFG of the other. Suicide vectors carrying pap deletions were mobilized from E. coli SM10 lambda pir into CFT073 (NalR) and cointegrates were passaged on non-selective medium. The first pap mutation was identified by screening a Southern blot of DNA from sucrose-resistant colonies using a papEFG probe. This mutant retained the MRHA+ phenotype since a second functional copy of pap was still present. A double pap-deletion mutant, UPEC76, confirmed by Southern blotting, was unable to agglutinate human type O erythrocytes or alpha Gal(1-4)beta Gal-coated latex beads. CBA mice (N = 100) were challenged transurethrally with 10(5), 10(6), 10(7), or 10(9) cfu of strains CFT073 or UPEC76. After one week, quantitative cultures of urine, bladder, and kidney were done and histologic changes were examined. No substantive differences in organism concentration or histological findings between parent and mutant were detected in urine, bladder, or kidney at any challenge concentration. We conclude that adherence by P fimbriae of uropathogenic E. coli strain CFT073 plays only a subtle role in the development of acute pyelonephritis in the CBA mouse model.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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