Role for flagella but not intimin in the persistent infection of the gastrointestinal tissues of specific-pathogen-free chicks by Shiga toxin-negative Escherichia coli O157:H7
Best, A., La Ragione, R. M., Sayers, A. R. and Woodward, M. J. (2005) Role for flagella but not intimin in the persistent infection of the gastrointestinal tissues of specific-pathogen-free chicks by Shiga toxin-negative Escherichia coli O157:H7. Infection and Immunity, 73 (3). pp. 1836-1846. ISSN 0019-9567
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1128/iai.73.3.1836-1846.2005
Shiga toxin (Stx)-positive Escherichia coli O157:117 readily colonize and persist in specific-pathogen-free (SPF) chicks, and we have shown that an Stx-negative E. coli O157:117 isolate (NCTC12900) readily colonizes SPF chicks for up to 169 days after oral inoculation at 1 day of age. However, the role of intimin in the persistent colonization of poultry remains unclear. Thus, to investigate the role of intimin and flagella, which is a known factor in the persistence of non-O157 E. coli in poultry, isogenic single- and double-intimin and aflagellar mutants were constructed in E. coli O157:117 isolate NCTC12900. These mutants were used to inoculate (10(5) CFU) 1-day-old SPF chicks. In general, significant attenuation of the aflagellate and intiminaflagellate mutants, but not the intimin mutant, was noted at similar time points between 22 and 92 days after inoculation. The intimin-deficient mutant was still being shed at the end of the experiment, which was 211 days after inoculation, 84 days more than the wild type. Shedding of the aflagellar and intimin-aflagellar mutants ceased 99 and 113 days after inoculation, respectively. Histological analysis of gastrointestinal tissues from inoculated birds gave no evidence for true microcolony formation by NCTC12900 or intimin and aflagellar mutants to epithelial cells. However, NCTC12900 mutant derivatives associated with the mucosa were observed as individual cells and/or as large aggregates. Association with luminal contents was also noted. These data suggest that O157 organisms do not require intimin for the persistent colonization of chickens, whereas flagella do play a role in this process.
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