Genetic typing of shiga toxin 2 variants of Escherichia coli by PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis.
ABSTRACT: Shiga toxins Stx1 and Stx2 play a prominent role in the pathogenesis of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) infections. Several variants of the stx(2) gene, encoding Stx2, have been described. In this study, we developed a PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism system for typing stx(2) genes of STEC strains. The typing system discriminates eight described variants and allows the identification of new stx(2) variants and STEC isolates carrying multiple stx(2) genes. A phylogenetic tree, based on the nucleotide sequences of the toxin-encoding genes, demonstrates that stx(2) sequences with the same PvuII HaeIII HincII AccI type generally cluster together.
Project description:When Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) strains emerged as agents of human disease, two types of toxin were identified: Shiga toxin type 1 (Stx1) (almost identical to Shiga toxin produced by Shigella dysenteriae type 1) and the immunologically distinct type 2 (Stx2). Subsequently, numerous STEC strains have been characterized that express toxins with variations in amino acid sequence, some of which confer unique biological properties. These variants were grouped within the Stx1 or Stx2 type and often assigned names to indicate that they were not identical in sequence or phenotype to the main Stx1 or Stx2 type. A lack of specificity or consistency in toxin nomenclature has led to much confusion in the characterization of STEC strains. Because serious outcomes of infection have been attributed to certain Stx subtypes and less so with others, we sought to better define the toxin subtypes within the main Stx1 and Stx2 types. We compared the levels of relatedness of 285 valid sequence variants of Stx1 and Stx2 and identified common sequences characteristic of each of three Stx/Stx1 and seven Stx2 subtypes. A novel, simple PCR subtyping method was developed, independently tested on a battery of 48 prototypic STEC strains, and improved at six clinical and research centers to test the reproducibility, sensitivity, and specificity of the PCR. Using a consistent schema for nomenclature of the Stx toxins and stx genes by phylogenetic sequence-based relatedness of the holotoxin proteins, we developed a typing approach that should obviate the need to bioassay each newly described toxin and that predicts important biological characteristics.
Project description:We examined 219 Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) strains from meat, milk, and cheese samples collected in Germany between 2005 and 2006. All strains were investigated for their serotypes and for genetic variants of Shiga toxins 1 and 2 (Stx1 and Stx2). stx(1) or variant genes were detected in 88 (40.2%) strains and stx(2) and variants in 177 (80.8%) strains. Typing of stx genes was performed by stx-specific PCRs and by analysis of restriction fragment length polymorphisms (RFLP) of PCR products. Major genotypes of the Stx1 (stx(1), stx(1c), and stx(1d)) and the Stx2 (stx(2), stx(2d), stx(2-O118), stx(2e), and stx(2g)) families were detected, and multiple types of stx genes coexisted frequently in STEC strains. Only 1.8% of the STEC strains from food belonged to the classical enterohemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC) types O26:H11, O103:H2, and O157:H7, and only 5.0% of the STEC strains from food were positive for the eae gene, which is a virulence trait of classical EHEC. In contrast, 95 (43.4%) of the food-borne STEC strains carried stx(2) and/or mucus-activatable stx(2d) genes, an indicator for potential high virulence of STEC for humans. Most of these strains belonged to serotypes associated with severe illness in humans, such as O22:H8, O91:H21, O113:H21, O174:H2, and O174:H21. stx(2) and stx(2d) STEC strains were found frequently in milk and beef products. Other stx types were associated more frequently with pork (stx(2e)), lamb, and wildlife meat (stx(1c)). The combination of serotyping and stx genotyping was found useful for identification and for assignment of food-borne STEC to groups with potential lower and higher levels of virulence for humans.
Project description:Shiga toxin (Stx) is the key virulent factor in Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC). To date, three Stx1 subtypes and seven Stx2 subtypes have been described in E. coli, which differed in receptor preference and toxin potency. Here, we identified a novel Stx2 subtype designated Stx2h in E. coli strains isolated from wild marmots in the Qinghai-Tibetan plateau, China. Stx2h shares 91.9% nucleic acid sequence identity and 92.9% amino acid identity to the nearest Stx2 subtype. The expression of Stx2h in type strain STEC299 was inducible by mitomycin C, and culture supernatant from STEC299 was cytotoxic to Vero cells. The Stx2h converting prophage was unique in terms of insertion site and genetic composition. Whole genome-based phylo- and patho-genomic analysis revealed STEC299 was closer to other pathotypes of E. coli than STEC, and possesses virulence factors from other pathotypes. Our finding enlarges the pool of Stx2 subtypes and highlights the extraordinary genomic plasticity of E. coli strains. As the emergence of new Shiga toxin genotypes and new Stx-producing pathotypes pose a great threat to the public health, Stx2h should be further included in E. coli molecular typing, and in epidemiological surveillance of E. coli infections.
Project description:We have isolated Shiga toxin (Stx)-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) strains from the feces of feral pigeons which contained a new Stx2 variant gene designated stx(2f). This gene is most similar to sltIIva of patient E. coli O128:B12 isolate H.I.8. Stx2f reacted only weakly with commercial immunoassays. The prevalence of STEC organisms carrying the stx(2f) gene in pigeon droppings was 12.5%. The occurrence of a new Stx2 variant in STEC from pigeons enlarges the pool of Stx2 variants and raises the question whether horizontal gene transfer to E. coli pathogenic to humans may occur.
Project description:Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) can cause central nervous system (CNS) damage resulting in paralysis, seizures, and coma. The key STEC virulence factors associated with systemic illness resulting in CNS impairment are Shiga toxins (Stx). While neurons express the Stx receptor globotriaosylceramide (Gb3) in vivo, direct toxicity to neurons by Stx has not been studied. We used murine neonatal neuron cultures to study the interaction of Shiga toxin type 2 (Stx2) with cell surface expressed Gb3. Single molecule imaging three dimensional STochastic Optical Reconstruction Microscopy-Total Internal Reflection Fluorescence (3D STORM-TIRF) allowed visualization and quantification of Stx2-Gb3 interactions. Furthermore, we demonstrate that Stx2 increases neuronal cytosolic Ca(2+), and NMDA-receptor inhibition blocks Stx2-induced Ca(2+) influx, suggesting that Stx2-mediates glutamate release. Phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)-specific inhibition by Wortmannin reduces Stx2-induced intracellular Ca(2+) indicating that the PI3K signaling pathway may be involved in Stx2-associated glutamate release, and that these pathways may contribute to CNS impairment associated with STEC infection.
Project description:Shiga toxin (STx) produced by Shigella and closely related Shiga toxin 1 and 2 (STx1 and STx2) synthesized by Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) are bacterial AB5 toxins. All three toxins target kidney cells and may cause life-threatening renal disease. While Shigella infections can be treated with antibiotics, resistance is increasing. Moreover, antibiotic therapy is contraindicated for STEC, and there are no definitive treatments for STEC-induced disease. To exert cellular toxicity, STx, STx1, and STx2 must undergo retrograde trafficking to reach their cytosolic target, ribosomes. Direct transport from early endosomes to the Golgi apparatus is an essential step that allows the toxins to bypass degradative late endosomes and lysosomes. The essentiality of this transport step also makes it an ideal target for the development of small-molecule inhibitors of toxin trafficking as potential therapeutics. Here, we review the recent advances in understanding the molecular mechanisms of the early endosome-to-Golgi transport of STx, STx1, and STx2, as well as the development of small-molecule inhibitors of toxin trafficking that act at the endosome/Golgi interface.
Project description:Shiga toxin 2 (Stx2) has been reported as the main Shiga toxin associated with human disease. In addition, the Stx2 toxin type can have a profound impact on the degree of tissue damage in animal models. We have characterized the stx(2) subtype of 168 Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) isolates of which 146 were derived from ovine sources (principally feces and meat) and 22 were isolated from humans. The ovine STEC isolates were of serotypes that have been shown to occur commonly in the gastrointestinal tract of healthy sheep. The major stx(2) subtype in the ovine isolates was shown to be stx(2d-Ount) (119 of 146 [81.5%]) and was predominantly associated with serotypes O75:H(-)/H8/H40, O91:H(-), O123:H(-), O128:H2, and OR:H2. However, 17 of 18 (94.4%) ovine isolates of serotype O5:H(-) possessed a stx(2d-O111/OX3a) subtype. Furthermore, STEC isolates of serotypes commonly found in sheep and recovered from both clinical and nonclinical human infections also contained a stx(2d) (stx(2d-Ount/O111/OX3a)) subtype. These studies suggest that a specific stx(2) subtype(s) associates with serotype and may have important epidemiological implications for tracing sources of E. coli during outbreaks of STEC-associated diseases in humans.
Project description:At least 11 Stx2 variants produced by Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) isolated from patients and animals have been described. The Stx2 subtyping of STEC isolated from healthy cows positive for stx(2) (n = 104) or stx(2) and stx(1) (n = 63) was investigated. Stx2vh-b, Stx2 (renamed Stx2-EDL933), and Stx2vh-a were the subtypes mostly detected among the bovine isolates (39.5, 39, and 25.5%, respectively). Stx2e was not present, and subtypes included in the Stx2d group (Stx2d-OX3a, Stx2d-O111, and Stx2d-Ount) were found infrequently among the isolates examined (8.5%). A combination of two distinct Stx2 subtypes was observed among 23.5% of the strains. For the first time, a combination of three subtypes (Stx2-EDL933/Stx2vh-b/Stx2d and Stx2vh-a/Stx2vh-b/Stx2d) was detected (3.5% of the isolates). In addition, bovine STEC harboring stx(1) and one or two stx(2) genes appeared highly cytotoxic toward Vero cells. A new Stx2 subtype (Stx2-NV206), present among 14.5% of the isolates, showed high cytotoxicity for Vero cells. Two amino acid residues (Ser-291 and Glu-297) important for the activation of Stx2 by human intestinal mucus were conserved on the Stx2-NV206 A subunit. The gene encoding Ehx enterohemolysin was prominent among STEC harboring stx(2)-EDL933 alone (78%) or a combination of stx(2)-EDL933 and stx(2)vh-b (85%). In addition, Stx2-EDL933 and/or Stx2vh-b subtypes were highly associated with other putative virulence factors such as Stx1 and EspP extracellular serine protease, but not with EAST1 enterotoxin.
Project description:The production of Shiga toxin (Stx) (verocytotoxin) is a major virulence factor of Escherichia coli O157:H7 strains (Shiga toxin-producing E. coli [STEC] O157). Two types of Shiga toxins, designated Stx1 and Stx2, are produced in STEC O157. Variants of the Stx2 type (Stx2, Stx2c) are associated with high virulences of these strains for humans. A bacteriophage designated 2851 from a human STEC O157 encoding the Stx2c variant was described previously. Nucleotide sequence analysis of the phage 2851 genome revealed 75 predicted coding sequences and indicated a mosaic structure typical for lambdoid phages. Analyses of free phages and K-12 phage 2851 lysogens revealed that upon excision from the bacterial chromosome, the loss of a phage-encoded IS629 element leads to fusion of phage antA and antB genes, with the generation of a recombined antAB gene encoding a strong antirepressor. In wild-type E. coli O157 as well as in K-12 strains, phage 2851 was found to be integrated in the sbcB locus. Additionally, phage 2851 carries an open reading frame which encodes an OspB-like type III effector similar to that found in Shigella spp. Investigation of 39 stx(2c) E. coli O157 strains revealed that all except 1 were positive for most phage 2851-specific genes and possessed a prophage with the same border sequences integrated into the sbcB locus. Phage 2851-specific sequences were absent from most stx(2c)-negative E. coli O157 strains, and we suggest that phage 2851-like phages contributed significantly to the dissemination of the Stx2c variant toxin within this group of E. coli.
Project description:Shiga toxin (Stx) types 1 and 2 are encoded within intact or defective temperate bacteriophages in Stx-producing Escherichia coli (STEC), and expression of these toxins is linked to bacteriophage induction. Among Stx2 variants, only stx(2e) from one human STEC isolate has been reported to be carried within a toxin-converting phage. In this study, we examined the O91:H21 STEC isolate B2F1, which carries two functional alleles for the potent activatable Stx2 variant toxin, Stx2d, for the presence of Stx2d-converting bacteriophages. We first constructed mutants of B2F1 that produced one or the other Stx2d toxin and found that the mutant that produced only Stx2d1 made less toxin than the Stx2d2-producing mutant. Consistent with that result, the Stx2d1-producing mutant was attenuated in a streptomycin-treated mouse model of STEC infection. When the mutants were treated with mitomycin C to promote bacteriophage induction, Vero cell cytotoxicity was elevated only in extracts of the Stx2d1-producing mutant. Additionally, when mice were treated with ciprofloxacin, an antibiotic that induces the O157:H7 Stx2-converting phage, the animals were more susceptible to the Stx2d1-producing mutant. Moreover, an stx(2d1)-containing lysogen was isolated from plaques on strain DH5alpha that had been exposed to lysates of the mutant that produced Stx2d1 only, and supernatants from that lysogen transformed with a plasmid encoding RecA were cytotoxic when the lysogen was induced with mitomycin C. Finally, electron-microscopic examination of extracts from the Stx2d1-producing mutant showed hexagonal particles that resemble the prototypic Stx2-converting phage 933W. Together these observations provide strong evidence that expression of Stx2d1 is bacteriophage associated. We conclude that despite the sequence similarity of the stx(2d1)- and stx(2d2)-flanking regions in B2F1, Stx2d1 expression is repressed within the context of its toxin-converting phage while Stx2d2 expression is independent of phage induction.