Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 19620340
Infect. Immun. 2009 Oct;77(10):4406-13
The ability of some typical enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC) strains to adhere to, invade, and increase interleukin-8 (IL-8) production in intestinal epithelial cells in vitro has been demonstrated. However, few studies regarding these aspects have been performed with atypical EPEC (aEPEC) strains, which are emerging enteropathogens in Brazil. In this study, we evaluated a selected aEPEC strain (1711-4) of serotype O51:H40, the most prevalent aEPEC serotype in Brazil, in regard to its ability to adhere to and invade Caco-2 and T84 cells and to elicit IL-8 production in Caco-2 cells. The role of flagella in aEPEC 1711-4 adhesion, invasion, and IL-8 production was investigated by performing the same experiments with an isogenic aEPEC mutant unable to produce flagellin (FliC), the flagellum protein subunit. We demonstrated that this mutant (fliC mutant) had a marked decrease in the ability to adhere to T84 cells and invade both T84 and Caco-2 cells in gentamicin protection assays and by transmission electron microscopy. In addition, the aEPEC 1711-4 fliC mutant had a reduced ability to stimulate IL-8 production by Caco-2 cells in early (3-h) but not in late (24-h) infections. Our findings demonstrate that flagella of aEPEC 1711-4 are required for efficient adhesion, invasion, and early but not late IL-8 production in intestinal epithelial cells in vitro.