Escherichia coli B2 Phylogenetic Subgroups in the Infant Gut Microbiota: Predominance of Uropathogenic Lineages in Swedish Infants and Enteropathogenic Lineages in Pakistani Infants.
ABSTRACT: Escherichia coli segregates into phylogenetic groups, with group B2 containing both extraintestinal pathogenic E. coli (ExPEC) and enteropathogenic E. coli (EPEC) strains. Ten main B2 subgroups (subgroups I to X)/sequence type complexes (STcs), as well as EPEC lineages, have been identified. In the current study, we characterized ExPEC and EPEC strains of E. coli B2 phylogenetic subgroups/STcs that colonize Swedish and Pakistani infants. Gut commensal E. coli B2 strains, 120 from Swedish infants (n?=?87) and 19 from Pakistani infants (n?=?12), were assigned to B2 subgroups. Carriage of the bundle-forming pili and intimin adhesin was examined in the EPEC lineages. The ExPEC virulence markers and the time of persistence of the strains in the microbiota were previously determined. In total, 84% of the Swedish strains and 47% of the Pakistani strains belonged to 1 of the 10 main B2 subgroups (P?=?0.001). Among the Swedish strains, the most common B2 subgroups were IX/STc95 (19%), II/STc73 (17%), VI/STc12 (13%), and III/STc127 (11%), with each subgroup carrying distinctive sets of ExPEC virulence markers. EPEC lineages with few ExPEC features constituted 47% of the Pakistani B2 strains but only 7% of the Swedish B2 strains (P?=?0.0001). The subgroup distribution within phylogenetic group B2 strains colonizing the gut differed between Swedish and Pakistani infants. B2 subgroups with uropathogenic characteristics dominated the gut microbiota of Swedish infants, while EPEC lineage 1 strains frequently colonized the intestines of Pakistani infants. Moreover, within the B2 subgroups, ExPEC virulence genes were more prevalent in Swedish strains than in Pakistani strains. Thus, ExPEC traits exemplify the intestinal B2 strains from Western populations.IMPORTANCE The intestinal microbiota is an important reservoir for bacteria that cause extraintestinal infections. Escherichia coli is found ubiquitously in the gut microbiota, and it also causes urinary tract infections, infantile septicemia, and meningitis. Urinary tract infections are usually caused by E. coli strains that originate in the intestinal microbiota. E. coli also causes gastrointestinal infections and is a major cause of diarrhea in infants worldwide. The abilities of certain E. coli strains to cause infections are attributed to their virulence factors, i.e., bacterial components that contribute to the development of different diseases. Our study shows that different subtypes of potentially pathogenic E. coli strains dominate in the gut microbiota of infants in different geographical areas and expands our knowledge of the interplay between bacterial commensalism and pathogenicity.
Project description:Bats are suspected to be a reservoir of several bacterial and viral pathogens relevant to animal and human health, but studies on Escherichia coli in these animals are sparse. We investigated the presence of E. coli in tissue samples (liver, lung and intestines) collected from 50 fruit bats of five different species (Eidolon helvum, Epomops franqueti, Hypsignathus monstrosus, Myonycteris torquata, Rousettus aegyptiacus) of two different areas in the Republic of Congo between 2009 and 2010. To assess E. coli pathotypes and phylogenetic relationships, we determined the presence of 59 virulence associated genes and multilocus sequence types (STs). Isolates were further tested for their susceptibility to several antimicrobial substances by agar disk diffusion test and for the presence of an Extended-Spectrum Beta-Lactamase phenotype. E. coli was detected in 60% of the bats analysed. The diversity of E. coli strains was very high, with 37 different STs within 40 isolates. Occasionally, we detected sequence types (e.g. ST69, ST127, and ST131) and pathotypes (e.g. ExPEC, EPEC and atypical EPEC), which are known pathogens in human and/or animal infections. Although the majority of strains were assigned to phylogenetic group B2 (46.2%), which is linked with the ExPEC pathovar, occurrence of virulence-associated genes in these strains were unexpectedly low. Due to this, and as only few of the E. coli isolates showed intermediate resistance to certain antimicrobial substances, we assume a rather naïve E. coli population, lacking contact to humans or domestic animals. Future studies featuring in depth comparative whole genome sequence analyses will provide insights into the microevolution of this interesting strain collection.
Project description:In this study, 200 Escherichia coli isolates from 22 rainwater tank samples in Southeast Queensland, Australia, were tested for the presence of 20 virulence genes (VGs) associated with intestinal and extraintestinal pathotypes. In addition, E. coli isolates were also classified into phylogenetic groups based on the detection of the chuA, yjaA, and TSPE4.C2 genes. Of the 22 rainwater tanks, 8 (36%) and 5 (23%) were positive for the eaeA (belonging to enteropathogenic E. coli [EPEC] and Shiga-toxigenic E. coli [STEC]) and ST1 (belonging to enterotoxigenic E. coli [ETEC]) genes, respectively. VGs (cdtB, cvaC, ibeA, kpsMT allele III, PAI, papAH, and traT) belonging to extraintestinal pathogenic E. coli (ExPEC) were detected in 15 (68%) of the 22 rainwater tanks. Of the 22 samples, 17 (77%) and 11 (50%) contained E. coli belonging to phylogenetic groups A and B1, respectively. Similarly, 10 (45%) and 16 (72%) contained E. coli belonging to phylogenetic groups B2 and D, respectively. Of the 96 of the 200 strains from 22 tanks that were VG positive, 40 (42%) were carrying a single VG, 36 (37.5%) were carrying two VGs, 17 (18%) were carrying three VGs, and 3 (3%) had four or more VGs. This study reports the presence of multiple VGs in E. coli strains belonging to the STEC, EPEC, ETEC, and ExPEC pathotypes in rainwater tanks. The public health risks associated with potentially clinically significant E. coli in rainwater tanks should be assessed, as the water is used for drinking and other, nonpotable purposes. It is recommended that rainwater be disinfected using effective treatment procedures such as filtration, UV disinfection, or simply boiling prior to drinking.
Project description:Extraintestinal pathogenic Escherichia coli (ExPEC) strains cause a large spectrum of infections. The majority of ExPEC strains are closely related to the B2 or the D phylogenetic group. The aim of our study was to develop a protein-based vaccine against these ExPEC strains. To this end, we identified ExPEC-specific genomic regions, using a comparative genome analysis, between the nonpathogenic E. coli strain K-12 MG1655 and ExPEC strains C5 (meningitis isolate) and CFT073 (urinary tract infection isolate). The analysis of these genomic regions allowed the selection of 40 open reading frames, which are conserved among B2/D clinical isolates and encode proteins with putative outer membrane localization. These genes were cloned, and recombinant proteins were purified and assessed as vaccine candidates. After immunization of BALB/c mice, five proteins induced a significant protective immunity against a lethal challenge with a clinical E. coli strain of the B2 group. In passive immunization assays, antigen-specific antibodies afforded protection to naive mice against a lethal challenge. Three of these antigens were related to iron acquisition metabolism, an important virulence factor of the ExPEC, and two corresponded to new, uncharacterized proteins. Due to the large number of genetic differences that exists between commensal and pathogenic strains of E. coli, our results demonstrate that it is possible to identify targets that elicit protective immune responses specific to those strains. The five protective antigens could constitute the basis for a preventive subunit vaccine against diseases caused by ExPEC strains.
Project description:Escherichia coli is a predominant bacterium in the intestinal tracts of animals. Phylogenetically, strains have been classified into seven phylogroups, A, B1, B2, C, D, E, and F. Pathogenic strains have been categorized into several pathotypes such as Enteropathogenic (EPEC), Enterotoxigenic (ETEC), Enteroinvasive (EIEC), Enteroaggregative (EAEC), Diffusely adherent (DAEC), Uropathogenic (UPEC), Shiga-toxin producing (STEC) or Enterohemorrhagic (EHEC) and Extra-intestinal pathogenic E. coli (ExPEC). E. coli also survives as a commensal on the ocular surface. However, under conditions of trauma and immune-compromised states, E. coli causes conjunctivitis, keratitis, endopthalmitis, dacyrocystitis, etc. The phylogenetic affiliation and the pathotype status of these ocular E. coli strains is not known. For this purpose, the whole-genome sequencing of the 10 ocular E. coli strains was accomplished. Based on whole-genome SNP variation, the ocular E. coli strains were assigned to phylogenetic groups A (two isolates), B2 (seven isolates), and C (one isolate). Furthermore, results indicated that ocular E. coli originated either from feces (enteropathogenic and enterotoxigenic), urine (uropathogenic), or from extra-intestinal sources (extra-intestinal pathogenic). A high concordance was observed between the presence of AMR (Antimicrobial Resistance) genes and antibiotic resistance in the ocular E. coli strains. Furthermore, several virulent genes (fimB to fimI, papB to papX, etc.) and prophages (Enterobacteria phage HK97, Enterobacteria phage P1, Escherichia phage D108 etc.) were unique to ocular E. coli. This is the first report on a whole-genome analysis of ocular E. coli strains.
Project description:Extraintestinal pathogenic Escherichia coli (ExPEC) strains of human and avian origin show similarities that suggest that the avian strains potentially have zoonotic properties. However, the phylogenetic relationships between avian and human ExPEC strains are poorly documented, so this possibility is difficult to assess. We used PCR-based phylotyping and multilocus sequence typing (MLST) to determine the phylogenetic relationships between 39 avian pathogenic E. coli (APEC) strains of serogroups O1, O2, O18, and O78 and 51 human ExPEC strains. We also compared the virulence genotype and pathogenicity for chickens of APEC strains and human ExPEC strains. Twenty-eight of the 30 APEC strains of serogroups O1, O2, and O18 were classified by MLST into the same subcluster (B2-1) of phylogenetic group B2, whereas the 9 APEC strains of serogroup O78 were in phylogenetic groups D (3 strains) and B1 (6 strains). Human ExPEC strains were closely related to APEC strains in each of these three subclusters. The 28 avian and 25 human strains belonging to phylogenetic subcluster B2-1 all expressed the K1 antigen and presented no significant differences concerning the presence of other virulence factors. Moreover, human strains of this phylogenetic subcluster were highly virulent for chicks, so no host specificity was identified. Thus, APEC strains of serotypes O1:K1, O2:K1, and O18:K1 belong to the same highly pathogenic clonal group as human E. coli strains of the same serotypes isolated from cases of neonatal meningitis, urinary tract infections, and septicemia. These APEC strains constitute a potential zoonotic risk.
Project description:Swine extraintestinal pathogenic Escherichia coli (ExPEC) is an important pathogen that leads to economic and welfare costs in the swine industry worldwide, and is occurring with increasing frequency in China. By far, various virulence factors have been recognized in ExPEC. Here, we investigated the virulence genotypes and clonal structure of collected strains to improve the knowledge of phylogenetic traits of porcine ExPECs in China.We isolated 64 Chinese porcine ExPEC strains from 2013 to 14 in China. By multiplex PCR, the distribution of isolates belonging to phylogenetic groups B1, B2, A and D was 9.4%, 10.9%, 57.8% and 21.9%, respectively. Nineteen virulence-related genes were detected by PCR assay; ompA, fimH, vat, traT and iutA were highly prevalent. Virulence-related genes were remarkably more prevalent in group B2 than in groups A, B1 and D; notably, usp, cnf1, hlyD, papA and ibeA were only found in group B2 strains. Genotyping analysis was performed and four clusters of strains (named I to IV) were identified. Cluster IV contained all isolates from group B2 and Cluster IV isolates had the strongest pathogenicity in a mouse infection model. As phylogenetic group B2 and D ExPEC isolates are generally considered virulent, multilocus sequence typing (MLST) analysis was performed for these isolates to further investigate genetic relationships. Two novel sequence types, ST5170 and ST5171, were discovered. Among the nine clonal complexes identified among our group B2 and D isolates, CC12 and CC95 have been indicated to have high zoonotic pathogenicity. The distinction between group B2 and non-B2 isolates in virulence and genotype accorded with MLST analysis.This study reveals significant genetic diversity among ExPEC isolates and helps us to better understand their pathogenesis. Importantly, our data suggest group B2 (Cluster IV) strains have the highest risk of causing animal disease and illustrate the correlation between genotype and virulence.
Project description:How extraintestinal pathogenic Escherichia coli (ExPEC) and antimicrobial-resistant E. coli disseminate through the population is undefined. We studied public restrooms for contamination with E. coli and ExPEC in relation to source and extensively characterized the E. coli isolates. For this, we cultured 1,120 environmental samples from 56 public restrooms in 33 establishments (obtained from 10 cities in the greater Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN, metropolitan area in 2003) for E. coli and compared ecological data with culture results. Isolates underwent virulence genotyping, phylotyping, clonal typing, pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), and disk diffusion antimicrobial susceptibility testing. Overall, 168 samples (15% from 89% of restrooms) fluoresced, indicating presumptive E. coli: 25 samples (2.2% from 32% of restrooms) yielded E. coli isolates, and 10 samples (0.9% from 16% of restrooms) contained ExPEC. Restroom category and cleanliness level significantly predicted only fluorescence, gender predicted fluorescence and E. coli, and feces-like material and toilet-associated sites predicted all three endpoints. Of the 25 E. coli isolates, 7 (28%) were from phylogenetic group B2(virulence-associated), and 8 (32%) were ExPEC. ExPEC isolates more commonly represented group B2 (50% versus 18%) and had significantly higher virulence gene scores than non-ExPEC isolates. Six isolates (24%) exhibited ?3-class antibiotic resistance, 10 (40%) represented classic human-associated sequence types, and one closely resembled reference human clinical isolates by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. Thus, E. coli, ExPEC, and antimicrobial-resistant E. coli sporadically contaminate public restrooms, in ways corresponding with restroom characteristics and within-restroom sites. Such restroom-source E. coli strains likely reflect human fecal contamination, may pose a health threat, and may contribute to population-wide dissemination of such strains.
Project description:Virulence-associated genes in bacteria are often located on chromosomal regions, termed pathogenicity islands (PAIs). Several PAIs are found in Escherichia coli strains that cause extraintestinal infections, but their role in commensal bowel colonization is unknown. Resident strains are enriched in adhesins (P fimbriae and type 1 fimbriae), capsular antigens (K1 and K5), hemolysin, and aerobactin and mostly belong to phylogenetic group B2. Here, we investigated whether six pathogenicity islands and the virulence determinants malX and usp are associated with fitness of E. coli in the infant bowel microbiota. E. coli strains isolated from stools of 130 Swedish infants during the first year of life were examined for their carriage of PAI markers, malX, and usp by PCR. Carriage was related to strain persistence: long-term colonizers (?12 months) carried significantly more of PAI II from strain CFT703 (II(CFT703)), IV(536,) and II(J96) and malX and usp than intermediate colonizers (1 to 11 months) and transient strains (<3 weeks). The accumulation of PAI markers in each individual strain correlated positively with its time of persistence in the colon. Phylogenetic group B2 accounted for 69% of long-term colonizers, 46% of intermediate colonizers and 14% of transient strains. These results support the hypothesis that some bacterial traits contributing to extraintestinal infections have in fact evolved primarily because they increase the fitness of E. coli in its natural niche, the colon; accordingly, they may be regarded as fitness islands in the gut.
Project description:BACKGROUND:One-third of the 100 million travelers to the tropics annually acquire extended-spectrum ?-lactamase (ESBL)-producing Enterobacteriaceae (ESBL-PE), with undefined clinical consequences. METHODS:Symptoms suggesting Enterobacteriaceae infections were recorded prospectively among 430 Finnish travelers, 90 (21%) of whom acquired ESBL-PE abroad. ESBL-PE isolates underwent polymerase chain reaction-based detection of diarrheagenic Escherichia coli (DEC) pathotypes (enteroaggregative E. coli [EAEC], enteropathogenic E. coli [EPEC], enterotoxigenic E. coli [ETEC], enteroinvasive E. coli, and Shiga toxin-producing E. coli), and extraintestinal pathogenic/uropathogenic E. coli (ExPEC/UPEC). Laboratory-confirmed ESBL-PE infections were surveyed 5 years before and after travel. RESULTS:Among the 90 ESBL-PE carriers, manifestations of Enterobacteriaceae infection included travelers' diarrhea (TD) (75/90 subjects) and urinary tract infection (UTI) (3/90). The carriers had 96 ESBL-producing E. coli isolates, 51% exhibiting a molecular pathotype: 13 (14%) were DEC (10 EAEC, 2 EPEC, 1 ETEC) (12 associated with TD) and 39 (41%) ExPEC/UPEC (none associated with UTI). Of ESBL-PE, 3 (3%) were ExPEC/UPEC-EAEC hybrids (2 associated with diarrhea, none with UTI). Potential ESBL-PE infections were detected in 15 of 90 subjects (17%). The 10-year medical record survey identified 4 laboratory-confirmed ESBL-PE infections among the 430 travelers, all in subjects who screened ESBL-PE negative after returning home from their index journeys but had traveled abroad before their infection episodes. CONCLUSIONS:Half of all travel-acquired ESBL-producing E. coli strains qualified molecularly as pathogens. Extraintestinal and uropathogenic pathotypes outnumbered enteric pathotypes (41% vs 14%), yet the latter correlated more closely with symptomatic infection (0% vs 92%). Despite more ESBL-PE strains qualifying as ExPEC/UPEC than DEC, travel-acquired ESBL-PE are more often associated with TD than UTI.
Project description:Fimbriae are long, adhesive structures widespread throughout members of the family Enterobacteriaceae. They are multimeric extrusions, which are moved out of the bacterial cell through an integral outer membrane protein called usher. The complex folding mechanics of the usher protein were recently revealed to be catalysed by the membrane-embedded translocation and assembly module (TAM). Here, we examine the diversity of usher proteins across a wide range of extraintestinal (ExPEC) and enteropathogenic (EPEC) Escherichia coli, and further focus on a so far undescribed chaperone-usher system, with this usher referred to as UshC. The fimbrial system containing UshC is distributed across a discrete set of EPEC types, including model strains like E2348/67, as well as ExPEC ST131, currently the most prominent multi-drug-resistant uropathogenic E. coli strain worldwide. Deletion of the TAM from a naive strain of E. coli results in a drastic time delay in folding of UshC, which can be observed for a protein from EPEC as well as for two introduced proteins from related organisms, Yersinia and Enterobacter We suggest that this models why the TAM machinery is essential for efficient folding of proteins acquired via lateral gene transfer.