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Distribution of the Escherichia coli common pilus among diverse strains of human enterotoxigenic E. coli.


ABSTRACT: The Escherichia coli common pilus (ECP) is produced by commensal and pathogenic E. coli strains. This pilus is unrelated to any of the known colonization factors (CFs) of enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC). In this study, we investigated the distribution and production of ECP among a collection of 136 human CF-positive and CF-negative ETEC strains of different geographic origins. The major pilus subunit gene, ecpA, was found in 109 (80%) of these strains, suggesting that it is widely distributed among ETEC strains. Phenotypic analysis of a subset of 43 strains chosen randomly showed that 58% of them produced ECP independently of the presence or absence of CFs, a percentage even higher than that of the most prevalent CFs. These data suggest an important role for ECP in the biology of ETEC, particularly in CF-negative strains, and in human infection.

SUBMITTER: Blackburn D 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC2691072 | BioStudies | 2009-01-01

SECONDARY ACCESSION(S): FJ210911

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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