von Mentzer A, Tobias J, Wiklund G, Nordqvist S, Aslett M, Dougan G, Sjöling Å, Svennerholm AM
Sci Rep 7 (1) 12514 [2017-10-02; online 2017-10-02]
The ability to colonize the small intestine is essential for enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) to cause diarrhea. Although 22 antigenically different colonization factors (CFs) have been identified and characterized in ETEC at least 30% of clinical ETEC isolates lack known CFs. Ninety-four whole genome sequenced "CF negative" isolates were searched for novel CFs using a reverse genetics approach followed by phenotypic analyses. We identified a novel CF, CS30, encoded by a set of seven genes, csmA-G, related to the human CF operon CS18 and the porcine CF operon 987P (F6). CS30 was shown to be thermo-regulated, expressed at 37 °C, but not at 20 °C, by SDS-page and mass spectrometry analyses as well as electron microscopy imaging. Bacteria expressing CS30 were also shown to bind to differentiated human intestinal Caco-2 cells. The genes encoding CS30 were located on a plasmid (E873p3) together with the genes encoding LT and STp. PCR screening of ETEC isolates revealed that 8.6% (n = 13) of "CF negative" (n = 152) and 19.4% (n = 13) of "CF negative" LT + STp (n = 67) expressing isolates analyzed harbored CS30. Hence, we conclude that CS30 is common among "CF negative" LT + STp isolates and is associated with ETEC that cause diarrhea.