The common ovine Shiga toxin 2-containing Escherichia coli serotypes and human isolates of the same serotypes possess a Stx2d toxin type.
ABSTRACT: 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:Unlike Shiga toxin 2 (stx(2)) genes, most nucleotide sequences of Shiga toxin 1 (stx(1)) genes from Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC), Shigella dysenteriae, and several bacteriophages (H19B, 933J, and H30) are highly conserved. Consequently, there has been little incentive to investigate variants of stx(1) among STEC isolates derived from human or animal sources. However stx(1OX3), originally identified in an OX3:H8 isolate from a healthy sheep in Germany, differs from other stx(1) subtypes by 43 nucleotides, resulting in changes to 12 amino acid residues, and has been renamed stx(1c). In this study we describe the development of a PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) assay that distinguishes stx(1c) from other stx(1) subtypes. The PCR-RFLP assay was used to study 378 stx(1)-containing STEC isolates. Of these, 207 were isolated from sheep, 104 from cattle, 45 from humans, 11 from meat, 5 from swine, 5 from unknown sources, and 1 from a cattle water trough. Three hundred fifty-five of the 378 isolates (93.9%) also possessed at least one other associated virulence gene (ehxA, eaeA, and/or stx(2)); the combination stx(1), stx(2), and ehxA was the most common (175 of 355 [49.3%]), and 90 of 355 (25.4%) isolates possessed eaeA. One hundred thirty-six of 207 (65.7%) ovine isolates possessed stx(1c) alone and belonged to 41 serotypes. Seventy-one of 136 (52.2%) comprised the common ovine serotypes O5:H(-), O128:H2, and O123:H(-). Fifty-two of 207 isolates (25.1%) possessed an stx(1) subtype; 27 (51.9%) of these belonged to serotype O91:H(-). Nineteen of 207 isolates (9.2%) contained both stx(1c) and stx(1) subtypes, and 14 belonged to serotype O75:H8. In marked contrast, 97 of 104 (93.3%) bovine isolates comprising 44 serotypes possessed an stx(1) subtype, 6 isolates possessed stx(1c), and the remaining isolate possessed both stx(1c) and stx(1) subtypes. Ten of 11 (91%) isolates cultured from meat in New Zealand possessed stx(1c) (serotypes O5:H(-), O75:H8/H40, O81:H26, O88:H25, O104:H(-)/H7, O123:H(-)/H10, and O128:H2); most of these serotypes are commonly recovered from the feces of healthy sheep. Serotypes containing stx(1) recovered from cattle rarely were the same as those isolated from sheep. Although an stx(1c) subtype was never associated with the typical enterohemorrhagic E. coli serogroups O26, O103, O111, O113, and O157, 13 human isolates possessed stx(1c). Of these, six isolates with serotype O128:H2 (from patients with diarrhea), four O5:H(-) isolates (from patients with hemolytic-uremic syndrome), and three isolates with serotypes O123:H(-) (diarrhea), OX3:H8 (hemolytic-uremic syndrome), and O81:H6 (unknown health status) represent serotypes that are commonly isolated from sheep.
Project description:Similar to ruminants, swine have been shown to be a reservoir for Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC), and pork products have been linked with outbreaks associated with STEC O157 and O111:H-. STEC strains, isolated in a previous study from fecal samples of late-finisher pigs, belonged to a total of 56 serotypes, including O15:H27, O91:H14, and other serogroups previously associated with human illness. The isolates were tested by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and a high-throughput real-time PCR system to determine the Shiga toxin (Stx) subtype and virulence-associated and putative virulence-associated genes they carried. Select STEC strains were further analyzed using a Minimal Signature E. coli Array Strip. As expected, stx 2e (81%) was the most common Stx variant, followed by stx 1a (14%), stx 2d (3%), and stx 1c (1%). The STEC serogroups that carried stx 2d were O15:H27, O159:H16 and O159:H-. Similar to stx 2a and stx 2c, the stx 2d variant is associated with development of hemorrhagic colitis and hemolytic uremic syndrome, and reports on the presence of this variant in STEC strains isolated from swine are lacking. Moreover, the genes encoding heat stable toxin (estIa) and enteroaggregative E. coli heat stable enterotoxin-1 (astA) were commonly found in 50 and 44% of isolates, respectively. The hemolysin genes, hlyA and ehxA, were both detected in 7% of the swine STEC strains. Although the eae gene was not found, other genes involved in host cell adhesion, including lpfAO113 and paa were detected in more than 50% of swine STEC strains, and a number of strains also carried iha, lpfAO26, lpfAO157, fedA, orfA, and orfB. The present work provides new insights on the distribution of virulence factors among swine STEC strains and shows that swine may carry Stx1a-, Stx2e-, or Stx2d-producing E. coli with virulence gene profiles associated with human infections.
Project description:Stx2d is a recently described Shiga toxin whose cytotoxicity is activated 10- to 1000-fold by the elastase present in mouse or human intestinal mucus. We examined Shiga toxigenic Escherichia coli (STEC) strains isolated from food and livestock sources for the presence of activatable stx(2d). The stx(2) operons of STEC were first analyzed by PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis and categorized as stx(2), stx(2c vha), stx(2c vhb), or stx(2d EH250). Subsequently, the stx(2c vha) and stx(2c vhb) operons were screened for the absence of a PstI site in the stx(2A) subunit gene, a restriction site polymorphism which is a predictive indicator for the stx(2d) (activatable) genotype. Twelve STEC isolates carrying putative stx(2d) operons were identified, and nucleotide sequencing was used to confirm the identification of these operons as stx(2d). The complete nucleotide sequences of seven representative stx(2d) operons were determined. Shiga toxin expression in stx(2d) isolates was confirmed by immunoblotting. stx(2d) isolates were induced for the production of bacteriophages carrying stx. Two isolates were able to produce bacteriophages phi1662a and phi1720a carrying the stx(2d) operons. RFLP analysis of bacteriophage genomic DNA revealed that phi1662a and phi1720a were highly related to each other; however, the DNA sequences of these two stx(2d) operons were distinct. The STEC strains carrying these operons were isolated from retail ground beef. Surveillance for STEC strains expressing activatable Stx2d Shiga toxin among clinical cases may indicate the significance of this toxin subtype to human health.
Project description:By using sequence analysis of Shiga toxin 1 (Stx 1) genes from human and ovine Stx-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) strains, we identified an Stx1 variant in STEC of human origin that was identical to the Stx1 variant from ovine STEC, but demonstrated only 97.1 and 96.6% amino acid sequence identity in its A and B subunits, respectively, to the Stx1 encoded by bacteriophage 933J. We designated this variant "Stx1c" and developed stxB(1) restriction fragment length polymorphism and stx(1c)-specific PCR strategies to determine the frequency and distribution of stx(1c) among 212 STEC strains isolated from humans. stx(1c) was identified in 36 (17.0%) of 212 STEC strains, 19 of which originated from asymptomatic subjects and 16 of which were from patients with uncomplicated diarrhea. stx(1c) was most frequently (in 23 STEC strains [63.9%]) associated with stx(2d), but 12 (33.3%) of the 36 STEC strains possessed stx(1c) only. A single STEC strain possessed stx(1c) together with stx(2) and was isolated from a patient with hemolytic-uremic syndrome. All 36 stx(1c)-positive STEC strains were eae negative and belonged to 10 different serogroups, none of which was O157, O26, O103, O111, or O145. Stx1c was produced by all stx(1c)-containing STEC strains, but reacted weakly with a commercial immunoassay. We conclude that STEC strains harboring the stx(1c) variant account for a significant proportion of human STEC isolates. The procedures developed in this study now allow the determination of the frequency of STEC strains harboring stx(1c) among clinical STEC isolates and their association with human disease in prospective studies.
Project description:Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) is an important foodborne pathogen. The increasing incidence of non-O157 STEC has posed a great risk to public health. Besides the Shiga toxin (Stx), the adherence factor, intimin, coded by eae gene plays a critical role in STEC pathogenesis. In this study, we investigated the prevalence and polymorphisms of eae gene in non-O157 STEC strains isolated from different sources in China. Among 735 non-O157 STEC strains, eae was present in 70 (9.5%) strains. Eighteen different eae genotypes were identified in 62 eae-positive STEC strains with the nucleotide identities ranging from 86.01% to 99.97%. Among which, seven genotypes were newly identified in this study. The eighteen eae genotypes can be categorized into five eae subtypes, namely ?1, ?1, ?1, ?3 and ?. Associations between eae subtypes/genotypes and serotypes as well as origins of strains were observed in this study. Strains belonging to serotypes O26:H11, O103:H2, O111:H8 are associated with particular eae subtypes, i.e., ?1, ?1, ?, respectively. Most strains from diarrheal patients (7/9, 77.8%) carried eae-?1 subtype, while most isolates from cattle (23/26, 88.5%) carried eae-?3 subtype. This study demonstrated a genetic diversity of eae gene in non-O157 STEC strains from different sources in China.
Project description:A specific PCR for the detection of a variant of the gene encoding Shiga toxin 1 (stx(1)) called stx(1(OX3)) (GenBank accession no. Z36901) was developed. The PCR was used to investigate 148 Stx(1)-producing Escherichia coli strains from human patients (n = 72), cattle (n = 27), sheep (n = 48), and a goat (n = 1) for the presence of the stx(1(OX3)) gene. The stx(1(OX3)) gene was present in 38 Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) strains from sheep belonging to serogroups O5, O125, O128, O146, and OX3 but was absent from Stx(1)-positive ovine STEC O91 strains. The stx(1(OX3)) gene was also detected in 22 STEC strains from humans with nonbloody diarrhea and from asymptomatic excreters. Serotypes O146:H21 and O128:H2 were most frequently associated with stx(1(OX3))-carrying STEC from sheep and humans. In contrast, Stx(1)-producing STEC strains from cattle and goats and 50 STEC strains from humans were all negative for the stx(1(OX3)) gene. The stx(1(OX3))-negative strains belonged to 13 serotypes which were different from those of the stx(1(OX3))-positive STEC strains. Moreover, the stx(1(OX3)) gene was not associated with STEC belonging to enterohemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC) serogroups O26, O103, O111, O118, O145, and O157. A bacteriophage carrying the stx(1(OX3)) gene (phage 6220) was isolated from a human STEC O146:H21 strain. The phage was able to lysogenize laboratory E. coli K-12 strain C600. Phage 6220 shared a similar morphology and a high degree of DNA homology with Stx(2)-encoding phage 933W, which originates from EHEC O157. In contrast, few similarities were found between phage 6220 and Stx(1)-encoding bacteriophage H-19B from EHEC O26.
Project description:Shiga toxin (Stx)-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) are recognized as important human pathogens of public health concern. Many animals are the sources of STEC. In this study we determined the occurrence and characteristics of the STEC in yaks (Bos grunniens) from the Qinghai-Tibetan plateau, China. A total of 728 yak fecal samples was collected from June to August, 2012 and was screened for the presence of the stx 1 and stx 2 genes by TaqMan real-time PCR after the sample was enriched in modified Tryptone Soya Broth. Of the 138 (18.96%) stx 1 and/or stx 2-positive samples, 85 (61.59%) were confirmed to have at least 1 STEC isolate present by culture isolation, from which 128 STEC isolates were recovered. All STEC isolates were serotyped, genotyped by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and characterized for the presence of 16 known virulence factors. Fifteen different O serogroups and 36 different O:H serotypes were identified in the 128 STEC isolates with 21 and 4 untypable for the O and H antigens respectively. One stx 1 subtype (stx 1a) and 5 stx 2 subtypes (stx 2a, stx 2b, stx 2c, stx 2d and stx 2g) were present in these STEC isolates. Apart from lpfA O157/OI-141, lpfA O157/OI-154, lpfA O113, katP and toxB which were all absent, other virulence factors screened (eaeA, iha, efa1, saa, paa, cnf1, cnf2, astA, subA, exhA and espP) were variably present in the 128 STEC isolates. PFGE were successful for all except 5 isolates and separated them into 67 different PFGE patterns. For the 18 serotypes with 2 or more isolates, isolates of the same serotypes had the same or closely related PFGE patterns, demonstrating clonality of these serotypes. This study was the first report on occurrence and characteristics of STEC isolated from yaks (Bos grunniens) from the Qinghai-Tibetan plateau, China, and extended the genetic diversity and reservoir host range of STEC.
Project description:Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) are an emerging group of zoonotic pathogens. Ruminants are the natural reservoir of STEC. In this study we determined the prevalence and characteristics of the STEC in plateau pika (Ochotona curzoniae) on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, China. A total of 1116 pika samples, including 294 intestinal contents samples, 317 fecal samples, and 505 intestinal contents samples, were collected from May to August in the years 2012, 2013, and 2015, respectively. Twenty-one samples (1.88%) yielded at least one STEC isolate; in total, 22 STEC isolates were recovered. Thirteen different O serogroups and 14 serotypes were identified. One stx 1 subtype (stx 1a) and three stx 2 subtypes (stx 2a, stx 2b, and stx 2d) were present in the STEC isolates. Fifteen, fourteen, and three STEC isolates harbored the virulence genes ehxA, subA, and astA, respectively. Adherence-associated genes iha and saa were, respectively, present in 72.73 and 68.18% of the STEC isolates. Twenty antibiotics were active against all the STEC isolates; all strains were resistant to penicillin G, and some to cephalothin or streptomycin. The 22 STEC isolates were divided into 16 pulsed-field gel electrophoresis patterns and 12 sequence types. Plateau pikas may play a role in the ongoing circulation of STEC in the Qinghai-Tibetan plateau. This study provides the first report on STEC in plateau pikas and new information about STEC reservoirs in wildlife. Based on the serotypes, virulence gene profiles and multi-locus sequence typing (MLST) analysis, the majority of these pika STECs may pose a low public health risk.
Project description:We have analyzed the prevalence of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) in stool specimens of patients with diarrhea or other gastrointestinal alterations from the Xeral-Calde Hospital of Lugo City (Spain). STEC strains were detected in 126 (2.5%) of 5,054 cases investigated, with a progressive increase in the incidence from 0% in 1992 to 4.4% in 1999. STEC O157:H7 was isolated in 24 cases (0.5%), whereas non-O157 STEC strains were isolated from 87 patients (1.7%). STEC strains were (after Salmonella and Campylobacter strains) the third most frequently recovered enteropathogenic bacteria. A total of 126 human STEC isolates were characterized in this study. PCR showed that 43 (34%) isolates carried stx(1) genes, 45 (36%) possessed stx(2) genes and 38 (30%) carried both stx(1) and stx(2). A total of 88 (70%) isolates carried an ehxA enterohemolysin gene, and 70 (56%) isolates possessed an eae intimin gene (27 isolates with type gamma1, 20 with type beta1, 8 with type zeta, 5 with type gamma2, and 3 with type epsilon). STEC isolates belonged to 41 O serogroups and 66 O:H serotypes, including 21 serotypes associated with hemolytic uremic syndrome and 30 new serotypes not previously reported among human STEC strains in other studies. Although the 126 STEC isolates belonged to 81 different seropathotypes (associations between serotypes and virulence genes), only four accounted for 31% of isolates. Seropathotype O157:H7 stx(1) stx(2) eae-gamma1 ehxA was the most common (13 isolates) followed by O157:H7 stx(2) eae-gamma1 ehxA (11 isolates), O26:H11 stx(1) eae-beta1 ehxA (11 isolates), and O111:H- stx(1) stx(2) eae-gamma2 ehxA (4 isolates). Our results suggest that STEC strains are a significant cause of human infections in Spain and confirm that in continental Europe, infections caused by STEC non-O157 strains are more common than those caused by O157:H7 isolates. The high prevalence of STEC strains (both O157:H7 and non-O157 strains) in human patients, and their association with serious complications, strongly supports the utilization of protocols for detection of all serotypes of STEC in Spanish clinical microbiology laboratories.
Project description:A hydrophobic grid membrane filtration-Shiga toxin immunoblot method was used to examine the prevalence of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) in four watersheds located in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, Canada, a region characterized by rapid urbanization and intensive agricultural activity. STEC were recovered from 21.6, 23.2, 19.5, and 9.2% of surface water samples collected monthly from five sites in each watershed over a period of 1 year. Overall prevalence was subject to seasonal variation however, ranging between 13.3% during fall months and 34.3% during winter months. STEC were also recovered from 23.8% of sediment samples collected in one randomly selected site. One hundred distinct STEC isolates distributed among 29 definitive and 4 ambiguous or indeterminate serotypes were recovered from water and sediments, including isolates from Canadian "priority" serogroups O157 (3), O26 (4), O103 (5), and O111 (7). Forty seven isolates were further characterized by analysis of whole genome sequences to detect Shiga toxin gene (stx 1 and stx 2), intimin gene (eaeA) allelic variants and acquired virulence factors. These analyses collectively showed that surface waters from the region support highly diverse STEC populations that include strains with virulence factors commonly associated with human pathotypes. The present work served to characterize the microbiological hazard implied by STEC to support future assessments of risks to public health arising from non-agricultural and agricultural uses of surface water resources in the region.