Title: Understanding the virulence of the entero-aggregative E. coli O104:H4

Authors: B. Kesavan; K.V. Srividhya; S. Krishnaswamy; Mugasimangalam Raja; N. Vidya; A.V.S.K. Krishna Mohan

Addresses: Centre of Excellence in Bioinformatics, School of Biotechnology, Madurai Kamaraj University, Madurai 625021, Tamil Nadu, India ' Centre of Excellence in Bioinformatics, School of Biotechnology, Madurai Kamaraj University, Madurai 625021, Tamil Nadu, India ' Centre of Excellence in Bioinformatics, School of Biotechnology, Madurai Kamaraj University, Madurai 625021, Tamil Nadu, India ' Genotypic Technology Pvt Ltd., "Apurva" 4th Cross, 80 feet road, R.M.V. 2nd Stage, Bangalore 560094, Karnataka, India ' Genotypic Technology Pvt Ltd., "Apurva" 4th Cross, 80 feet road, R.M.V. 2nd Stage, Bangalore 560094, Karnataka, India ' Genotypic Technology Pvt Ltd., "Apurva" 4th Cross, 80 feet road, R.M.V. 2nd Stage, Bangalore 560094, Karnataka, India

Abstract: O104:H4 is a new strain of E. coli that has caused an outbreak in Germany. It was isolated from patients with bloody diarrhoea and Haemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS). BGI (www.genomics.cn) sequenced and assembled this new strain. It was reported to show resistance to a number of drugs that are toxic to other E. coli and causes serious complications during infections, which ultimately lead to death. Multi-drug resistance and high virulence of this strain is thought to be acquired from different sources, by horizontal gene transfer. A total of 38 prophage elements were detected from the new strain by using three computational tools viz., DRAD, Prophage Finder and PHAST. Analysis on these prophage elements shows a number of virulence proteins like Shiga toxin and multi-drug resistance protein encoding genes. The high virulence of the strain could be attributed by the prophage elements acquired from its micro environment.

Keywords: E. coli O104:H4; prophage; fitness factors; Shiga toxin; horizontal gene transfer; virulence proteins; entero-aggregative E. coli; drug resistance; multi-drug resistance; bioinformatics.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBRA.2015.069185

International Journal of Bioinformatics Research and Applications, 2015 Vol.11 No.3, pp.187 - 199

Available online: 17 Apr 2015 *

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