1887

Abstract

Colonization factor antigens (CFAs) are important virulence factors in enterotoxigenic (ETEC). Using a multiplex PCR and RT-PCR, this study tested the presence of common colonization factor-encoding genes and their expression in 50 ETEC strains isolated from stool specimens. The samples were from patients (children) with acute diarrhoea (cases) admitted to the Infectious Disease Hospital (Kolkata, India) and from normal children (controls) under 5 years of age from the community. The results indicated that coli surface antigen 6 (CS6) was the most prevalent CFA (78 %) expressed by these ETEC strains. Sequence analysis of both of the CS6 structural genes, i.e. and , in different ETEC isolates revealed the presence of point mutations in a systematic fashion. Based on the analysis of these variations, it was found that CssA had three alleles and CssB had two. Based on the allelic variations, subtyping of CS6 into AIBI, AIIBII, AIIIBI, AIBII and AIIIBII is proposed. The point mutations in the different alleles were reflected in a partial alteration in the secondary structure of both subunits, as determined by computational analysis. The functional significance of these changes was confirmed with cellular binding studies in Caco-2 cells with representative ETEC isolates. CS6 with AI or AIII allelic subtypes showed a higher binding capacity than AII, whereas BI showed stronger binding than BII. The AII and BII alleles were mostly detected in controls rather than in cases. The antibody specificity of BI and BII also varied due to alteration of the amino acids. Thus, CS6 variants are formed as a result of different allelic combinations of CssA and CssB, and these changes at the functional level might be important in the development of an effective ETEC vaccine.

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2010-07-01
2019-10-22
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