Use of a microarray to assess the distribution of plasmid and chromosomal virulence genes in strains of enteroaggregative Escherichia coli

Claire Jenkins, Carola Van Ijperen, Edward G. Dudley, Henrik Chart, Geraldine A. Willshaw, Tom Cheasty, Henry R. Smith, James P. Nataro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

34 Scopus citations

Abstract

A DNA microarray was used to analyze the distribution of plasmid and chromosomal genes among strains of enteroaggregative Escherichia coli (EAEC) isolated from a prospective diarrhoea surveillance study in the United Kingdom. Target genes were extracted from existing databases and from the genome sequence of prototype EAEC strain 042. We found that strains exhibiting the aggregative adherence (AA) phenotype could be broadly divided into two groups depending upon whether they harboured genes from the EAEC virulence plasmid (pAA) and a set of chromosomal genes found in EAEC strain 042. Several chromosomal loci were inherited en bloc, and were more common in strains which we designated Group 1; genes at the pheU locus were particularly conserved. Genes encoded on the pAA plasmid and those under control of the master regulator AggR were also concentrated in the Group 1 EAEC. A gene encoding a type 1 pilin allele was detected more frequently in Group 2 EAEC. Our data suggest that strains previously designated as typical EAEC harbour a large number of conserved plasmid and chromosomal loci, further illuminating a package of virulence genes common to the most important EAEC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)119-124
Number of pages6
JournalFEMS Microbiology Letters
Volume253
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics

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