• Journal Article

The Presence of the pAA Plasmid in the German O104:H4 Shiga toxin (Stx) type 2a-producing Enteroaggregative Escherichia coli Strain Promotes the Translocation of Stx2a across an Epithelial Cell Monolayer

Citation

Boisen, N., Hansen, A. M., Melton-Celsa, A. R., Zangari, T., Mortensen, N., Kaper, J. B., ... Nataro, J. P. (2014). The Presence of the pAA Plasmid in the German O104:H4 Shiga toxin (Stx) type 2a-producing Enteroaggregative Escherichia coli Strain Promotes the Translocation of Stx2a across an Epithelial Cell Monolayer. Journal of Infectious Diseases, 210(12), 1909-1919. DOI: 10.1093/infdis/jiu399

Abstract

BACKGROUND: A Shiga toxin (Stx) type 2a-producing enteroaggregative E. coli (EAEC) strain of serotype O104:H4 caused a large outbreak in 2011 in Northern Europe. Pathogenic mechanisms for this strain are unclear. We hypothesized that EAEC genes encoded on the pAA virulence plasmid promoted the translocation of Stx2a across the intestinal mucosa. METHODS: We investigated the potential contribution of pAA using mutants of Stx-EAEC strain C227-11, either cured of the pAA plasmid or deleted for individual known pAA-encoded virulence genes aggR, aggA, and sepA. The resulting mutants were tested for their ability to induce IL-8 secretion and translocation of Stx2a across a polarized colonic epithelial (T84 cell) monolayer. RESULTS: We found that deletion of aggR or aggA significantly reduced bacterial adherence and (independently) translocation of Stx2a across the T84 cell monolayer. Moreover, deletion of aggR, aggA, sepA or the Stx2a-encoding phage from C227-11 resulted in reduced secretion of IL-8 from the infected monolayer. CONCLUSION: Our data suggest that the AggR-regulated AAF/I fimbriae enhance inflammation and enable the outbreak strain to both adhere to epithelial cells and translocate Stx2a across the intestinal epithelium