1887

Abstract

Only a subset of Shiga toxin (Stx)-producing (STEC) are human pathogens, but the characteristics that account for differences in pathogenicity are not well understood. In this study, we investigated the distribution of the variants coding for Stx2 and its variants in highly virulent STEC of seropathotype A and low-pathogenic STEC of seropathotype C. We analysed and compared transcription of the corresponding genes, production of Shiga toxins, and -phage release in basal as well as in induced conditions. We found that the variant was mainly associated with strains of seropathotype A, whereas most of the strains of seropathotype C possessed the variant, which was frequently associated with , or . Levels of and related mRNA were higher in strains belonging to seropathotype A and in those strains of seropathotype C that express the variant than in the remaining strains of seropathotype C. The genes were the least expressed, in basal as well as in induced conditions, and in many cases did not seem to be carried by an inducible prophage. A clear correlation was observed between mRNA levels and -phage DNA in the culture supernatants, suggesting that most -related genes are expressed only when they are carried by a phage. In conclusion, some relationship between -related gene expression and the seropathotype of the STEC strains was observed. A higher expression of the gene and a higher release of its product, in basal as well as in induced conditions, was observed in pathogenic strains of seropathotype A. A subset of strains of seropathotype C shows the same characteristics and could be a high risk to human health.

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2008-01-01
2019-10-19
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