Shiga Toxin Subtypes Display Dramatic Differences in Potency

Molecular Genetics, Biochemistry, and Microbiology, Room 3109, 231 Albert Sabin Way, ML 524, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH 45267-0524, USA.
Infection and immunity (Impact Factor: 3.73). 03/2011; 79(3):1329-37. DOI: 10.1128/IAI.01182-10
Source: PubMed


Purified Shiga toxin (Stx) alone is capable of producing systemic complications, including hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS),
in animal models of disease. Stx includes two major antigenic forms (Stx1 and Stx2), with minor variants of Stx2 (Stx2a to
-h). Stx2a is more potent than Stx1. Epidemiologic studies suggest that Stx2 subtypes also differ in potency, but these differences
have not been well documented for purified toxin. The relative potencies of five purified Stx2 subtypes, Stx2a, Stx2b, Stx2c,
Stx2d, and activated (elastase-cleaved) Stx2d, were studied in vitro by examining protein synthesis inhibition using Vero monkey kidney cells and inhibition of metabolic activity (reduction
of resazurin to fluorescent resorufin) using primary human renal proximal tubule epithelial cells (RPTECs). In both RPTECs
and Vero cells, Stx2a, Stx2d, and elastase-cleaved Stx2d were at least 25 times more potent than Stx2b and Stx2c. In vivo potency in mice was also assessed. Stx2b and Stx2c had potencies similar to that of Stx1, while Stx2a, Stx2d, and elastase-cleaved
Stx2d were 40 to 400 times more potent than Stx1.

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    • "STEC strains that produce Stx2d are virulent in a mouse oral challenge model (Wadolkowski et al., 1990). According to the Fuller et al. (2011), Stx2a and Stx2d displayed similar potencies but were significantly more potent than other Stx2 subtypes. Indeed, the culture supernatant of these two strains demonstrated distinct cytotoxicity towards Vero cells (data not shown). "
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    ABSTRACT: The objectives of this study were to investigate prevalence and pathogenic potential of Escherichia coli contaminating raw milk and its products in Egypt. Out of 187 dairy products including 72 raw milk samples, 55 Karish cheese and 60 Ras cheese, 222 E. coli isolates including 111, 89 and 22 were obtained from 55 raw milk samples (76.4%), 41 Karish cheese (74.5%), and 13 Ras cheese (21.7%), respectively. Isolated E. coli strains were examined for 24 representative virulence genes present in diarrheagenic E. coli (DEC) and extraintestinal pathogenic E. coli (ExPEC). Among DEC and ExPEC virulence factors, genes for enteropathogenic E. coli (eaeA, bfpA, EAF), enterohemorrhagic E. coli (stx1, stx2, eaeA), enterotoxigenic E. coli (elt, est), enteroinvasive E. coli (invE), enteroaggregative E. coli (Eagg, astA), diffusely adherent E. coli (daaD), ExPEC (cdt-I to cdt-V, cnf1, cnf2, hlyA) and putative adhesins (efa1, iha, ehaA, saa, and lpfAO113) were screened by colony hybridization assay. Out of 222 E. coli strains, 104 (46.8%) isolated from 69 (36.9%) samples carried one or more virulence genes. The most prevalent gene detected was lpfAO113 (40.5%), followed by ehaA (32.4%,), astA (3.15%,), iha (1.80%), hlyA (1.35%), stx1 (0.90%), stx2 (0.90%), eaeA (0.45%), cdt-III (0.45%) and cnf2 (0.45%). Two strains isolated from Karish cheese harbored 5 virulence genes (stx1, stx2, iha, ehaA, lpfAO113). Stx subtype was determined to be stx1 (not stx1c or stx1d) and stx2d. Indeed, expression of hemolysin A, CDT-III, CNF-II, Stx1 and Stx2d was confirmed by blood agar plate, cytotoxicity assay and Western blotting, respectively. Among the 222 E. coli strains, 54 (48.6%), 38 (42.6%) and 12 (54.7%) isolated from raw milk, Karish cheese and Ras cheese were potentially virulent, respectively. O-genotyping indicated that most of the potentially virulent E. coli isolates did not belong to clinically important O serogroups except O75, O91 and O166, which have been associated with human diseases. Phylogenetic grouping revealed that 150 (67.6%), 67 (30.2%) and 5 (2.30%) strains were clustered into A, B1 and D groups, respectively, which are considered to be associated with intestinal infection, indicating that these E. coli strains might have a potential to cause gastroenteritis. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first comprehensive study regarding prevalence and pathogenic potential of E. coli in dairy products in Egypt. Raw milk, Karish cheese and Ras cheese in Egypt are highly contaminated with E. coli including potentially pathogenic strains, which may impose a public health threat.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2016 · International Journal of Food Microbiology
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    • "The B-subunits of Stx recognize cell surface glycolipid globotriaosylceramide (Gb3) [33] and to a lesser extent globotetraosylceramide (Gb4) as receptors [27], [34] (Table 1). Gb3 is composed of a tri-saccharide (Galα1-4Galβ1-4Glc), called Pk trisaccharide, which is attached to the lipid, ceramide. "
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    ABSTRACT: The major virulence factor of Shiga toxin producing E. coli, is Shiga toxin (Stx), an AB5 toxin that consists of a ribosomal RNA-cleaving A-subunit surrounded by a pentamer of receptor-binding B subunits. The two major isoforms, Stx1 and Stx2, and Stx2 variants (Stx2a-h) significantly differ in toxicity. The exact reason for this toxicity difference is unknown, however different receptor binding preferences are speculated to play a role. Previous studies used enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) to study binding of Stx1 and Stx2a toxoids to glycolipid receptors. Here, we studied binding of holotoxin and B-subunits of Stx1, Stx2a, Stx2b, Stx2c and Stx2d to glycolipid receptors globotriaosylceramide (Gb3) and globotetraosylceramide (Gb4) in the presence of cell membrane components such as phosphatidylcholine (PC), cholesterol (Ch) and other neutral glycolipids. In the absence of PC and Ch, holotoxins of Stx2 variants bound to mixtures of Gb3 with other glycolipids but not to Gb3 or Gb4 alone. Binding of all Stx holotoxins significantly increased in the presence of PC and Ch. Previously, Stx2a has been shown to form a less stable B-pentamer compared to Stx1. However, its effect on glycolipid receptor binding is unknown. In this study, we showed that even in the absence of the A-subunit, the B-subunits of both Stx1 and Stx2a were able to bind to the glycolipids and the more stable B-pentamer formed by Stx1 bound better than the less stable pentamer of Stx2a. B-subunit mutant of Stx1 L41Q, which shows similar stability as Stx2a B-subunits, lacked glycolipid binding, suggesting that pentamerization is more critical for binding of Stx1 than Stx2a.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2014 · PLoS ONE
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    • "Many studies have underlined the potential key role of the Stx2 subtypes in the severity of disease. Although Stx2e is not a potent subtype [47], strains harboring Stx2e have been isolated from patients with diarrhea [48]. Intimin contributes to the development of A/E lesions and is a key virulence for some STEC serotypes [49], while ehxA can be found in many STEC serotypes, such as O157:H7 and O26:H11 that are associated with diarrheal disease and HUS [7,50]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) is recognized as an important human diarrheal pathogen. Swine plays an important role as a carrier of this pathogen. In this study we determined the prevalence and characteristics of STEC from healthy swine collected between May 2011 and August 2012 from 3 cities/provinces in China. A total of 1003 samples, including 326 fecal, 351 small intestinal contents and 326 colon contents samples, was analyzed. Two hundred and fifty five samples were stx-positive by PCR and 93 STEC isolates were recovered from 62 stx-positive samples. Twelve O serogroups and 19 O:H serotypes including 6 serotypes (O100:H20/[H20], O143:H38/[H38], O87:H10, O172:H30/[H30], O159:H16, O9:H30/[H30]) rarely found in swine and ruminants were identified. All 93 STEC isolates harbored stx2 only, all of which were stx2e subtype including 1 isolate being a new variant of stx2e. 53.76%, 15.05% and 2.15% STEC isolates carried astA, hlyA and ehxA respectively. Four STEC isolates harbored the high-pathogenicity island. Of the 15 adherence-associated genes tested, 13 (eae, efa1, iha, lpfAO113, lpfAO157/OI-154, lpfAO157/OI-141, toxB, saa, F4, F5, F6, F17 or F41) were all absent while 2 (paa and F18) were present in 7 and 4 STEC isolates respectively. The majority of the isolates were resistant to tetracycline (79.57%), nalidixic acid (78.49%), trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (73.12%) and kanamycin (55.91%). The STEC isolates were divided into 63 pulsed-field gel electrophoresis patterns and 21 sequence types (STs). Isolates of the same STs generally showed the same or similar drug resistance patterns. A higher proportion of STEC isolates from Chongqing showed multidrug resistance with one ST (ST3628) resistant to 14 antimicrobials. Our results indicate that swine is a significant reservoir of STEC strains in China. Based on comparison by serotypes and sequence types with human strains and presence of virulence genes, the swine STEC may have a low potential to cause human disease.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2014 · BMC Microbiology
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