E. coli Common pili promote the fitness and virulence of a hybrid aEPEC/ExPEC strain within diverse host environments

Butantan affiliation
Publication type
Access rights
Open access
Terms of use
Appears in Collections:
Pathogenic subsets of Escherichia coli include diarrheagenic (DEC) strains that cause disease within the gut and extraintestinal pathogenic E. coli (ExPEC) strains that are linked with urinary tract infections, bacteremia, and other infections outside of intestinal tract. Among DEC strains is an emergent pathotype known as atypical enteropathogenic E. coli (aEPEC), which can cause severe diarrhea. Recent sequencing efforts revealed that some E. coli strains possess genetic features that are characteristic of both DEC and ExPEC isolates. BA1250 is a newly reclassified hybrid strain with characteristics of aEPEC and ExPEC. This strain was isolated from a child with diarrhea, but its genetic features indicate that it might have the capacity to cause disease at extraintestinal sites. The spectrum of adhesins encoded by hybrid strains like BA1250 are expected to be especially important in facilitating colonization of diverse niches. E. coli common pilus (ECP) is an adhesin expressed by many E. coli pathogens, but how it impacts hybrid strains has not been ascertained. Here, using zebrafish larvae as surrogate hosts to model both gut colonization and extraintestinal infections, we found that ECP can act as a multi-niche colonization and virulence factor for BA1250. Furthermore, our results indicate that ECP-related changes in activation of envelope stress response pathways may alter the fitness of BA1250. Using an in silico approach, we also delineated the broader repertoire of adhesins that are encoded by BA1250, and provide evidence that the expression of at least a few of these varies in the absence of functional ECP.
Munhoz DD, Richards AC., Santos FF., Mulvey MA., Piazza RMF. E. coli Common pili promote the fitness and virulence of a hybrid aEPEC/ExPEC strain within diverse host environments. Gut Microbes. 2023 Mar; 15(1):2190308. doi:10.1080/19490976.2023.2190308.
Link to cite this reference
Journal title
Issue Date

Show full item record

This item is licensed under a Creative Commons License Creative Commons