Aerobactin iron transport genes commonly encoded by certain ColV plasmids occur in the chromosome of a human invasive strain of Escherichia coli K1

M A Valvano, J H Crosa

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Abstract

The aerobactin-mediated iron uptake system encoded by pColV-K30 and other ColV plasmids has been associated with the ability of Escherichia coli strains to cause disease. We investigated whether the pColV-K30 aerobactin system is present in E. coli K1 VW187 isolated from a human neonate with meningitis. This strain exhibited a functional aerobactin-mediated iron uptake system, as assessed by a cross-feeding bioassay and by its sensitivity to cloacin, a bacteriocin that recognizes the outer membrane receptor for iron-aerobactin complexes. By using a variety of techniques, we could not find any plasmid harboring the aerobactin genes. Hybridization of restriction endonuclease-cleaved chromosomal DNA from strain VW187 with various clones containing subsets of the pColV-K30 aerobactin region showed that the aerobactin genes were located on a 10.5-kilobase-pair chromosomal HindIII restriction fragment which also contained IS1-like insertion sequences. The chromosomal aerobactin region showed a high degree of conservation when compared with the homologous region in plasmid pColV-K30, although it was located on a different restriction endonuclease site environment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-67
Number of pages9
JournalInfection and Immunity
Volume46
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1984

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