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Genetic relationship of putative colonization factor o166 to colonization factor antigen i and coil surface antigen i and coli surface antigen 4 of enterotoxigenic escherichia coli



Genetic relationship of putative colonization factor o166 to colonization factor antigen i and coil surface antigen i and coli surface antigen 4 of enterotoxigenic escherichia coli



Infection & Immunity 60(9): 3799-3806



Plasmid DNA from two strains of enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli harboring genes encoding coli surface antigen 4 (CS4) and from seven Indian enterotoxigenic E. coli isolates cross-hybridized at low stringency but not at high stringency with two polynucleotide probes derived from the colonization factor antigen I (CFA/I) operon. Low-stringency Southern blot hybridization of PstI-digested plasmid DNA from the seven Indian isolates yielded characteristic restriction fragment patterns, distinct from those of CS4- and CFA/I-associated plasmid DNA. Two of the Indian strains were transformed with a recombinant plasmid harboring the cfaD gene, which encodes a positive regulator of CFA/I and CS4 genes. The cfaD transformants produced large amounts of putative colonization factor O166 (PCFO166) irrespective of whether the nutrient agar contained bile salts, a growth factor otherwide required for adequate PCFO166 expression. A considerable interstrain variation in the level of PCFO166 production could be explained by differences in the proportion of bacteria that were fimbriated, as visualized by electron microscopy. The N-terminal amino acid sequence of PCFO166 fimbrial protein showed a high degree of homology with the corresponding sequences of CFA/I and CS4.

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