Enterohaemorrhagic (EHEC) O157:H7 and O26:H11 have been shown to produce a low mol. wt outer-membrane protein (OMP) that is unique to a few serotypes of . A mutant (A10) of O157:H7 strain HA1 deficient in the OMP was constructed by Tn mutagenesis and assayed for its adherent ability. Adherence of A10 to intestinal epithelial cells (INT407) was significantly less than that of its parent strain (HA1). Adherence of HA1 to INT407 cells was significantly decreased by treatment with a monoclonal antibody (4E8C12) that specifically binds to the OMP. When chickens were infected experimentally with O157:H7 strains, the average number of cfu of strain A10 recovered from chicken caeca was significantly less than those of strain HA1 and wild-type strain 932 at 14 and 21 days after peroral inoculation. These data suggest that the OMP of EHEC is associated with adherence of O157:H7 to epithelial cells and chicken caeca .


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