Food Poisoning Bacteria Produce Adherence Structure

May contribute to pathogenicity

MONDAY, Oct. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Pathogenic Escherichia coli O157:H7 bacteria produce a structure that helps them adhere better to cells and may contribute to pathogenicity, according to the results of a study published online Oct. 18 in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

Juan Xicohtencatl-Cortes, from the University of Arizona in Tucson, and colleagues examined whether enterohemorrhagic E. coli O157:H7 could produce pilus structures when interacting with host cells in addition to the common pilus.

The researchers found that the bacteria could produce adhesive type IV pili, termed the hemorrhagic coli pilus, which was encoded by the hcpA gene. Inactivation of this gene reduced bacterial adherence to cells and gut explants. Sera from patients with hemolytic uremic syndrome recognized HcpA.

"Our data establish that enterohemorrhagic E. coli O157:H7 hemorrhagic coli pilus are intestinal colonization factors that are likely to contribute to the pathogenic potential of this food-borne pathogen," the authors conclude.

Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)

Physician's Briefing