Periódicos Brasileiros em Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia

p. 103-107

Putative new heat-stable cytotoxic and enterotoxic factors in culture supernatant of Escherichia coli isolated from drinking water

Ribeiro, D. ANiemann, F. S.Gatti, M. S. V.Lanna, M. C. S.Tsuji, TYano, T

Enteric infections caused by the ingestion of contaminated water, especially by Escherichia coli, are important to define the virulence properties of these bacteria. Due to frequent infantile diarrhea in the city of Ouro Preto, Minas Gerais state, Brazil, the phenotypic and genotypic diarrheagenic properties of E. coli isolated from drinking water were studied. The culture supernatants of 39 (40 percent) among a total of 97 E. coli isolates from drinking water were positive by suckling mouse assay and induced cytotoxic effects on Vero cells. The enterotoxic and cytotoxic activities were present in the fraction with less than 10 kDa and were not lost when heated up to 60ºC and 100ºC for 30 minutes. PCR assays showed that among these 39 Vero cytotoxigenic E. coli, four (10.2 percent) were positive for ST II (estB) and two (5 percent) positive for αHly (hlyA). Gene amplification of SLT (stx 1, stx 2), ST I (estA), LT (eltI, eltII), EAST1 (astA), EHly (enhly) and plasmid-encoded enterotoxin (pet) were not observed. This heat-stable cytotoxic enterotoxin of E. coli is probably a new putative diarrheagenic virulence factor, as a toxin presenting these characteristics has not yet been described.(AU)

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