Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/14/2016
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Shiga toxin producing Escherichia coli (STEC) cause hemorrhagic colitis and potentially fatal extraintestinal sequelae, such as the hemolytic uremic syndrome and thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura, in humans. Currently, treatment of human STEC disease is only symptomatic and supportive. Antibiotics are contraindicated owing to increased risk of sequelae; hence, diverse new STEC-specific management modalities are being investigated including those that (i) target STEC bacteria, (ii) interfere with Shiga toxin (Stx) binding, ((iii) neutralize Stx, (iv) inhibit Stx trafficking, (v) modulate /interfere with host cellular responses to Stx, (vi) effect homeostasis of host microbiota (probiotics), and (vii) virulence factor-based vaccines. Because ruminants (cattle and sheep) are primary STEC reservoirs, several preharvest control strategies to reduce pathogen load and prevent STEC entry into the food chain are being implemented. These include, (i) water treatment, (ii) dietary strategies, (iii) water and feed additives, (iv) animal treatments, and (v) management and transportation practices. However, these strategies have variable or limited efficacy owing to diverse hosts/environments maintaining STEC on farms, further emphasizing the need for control measures that can be consistently employed. Hence, we are employing host specific studies and pathogen-directed systems-based approaches towards the development of such novel STEC-targeted modalities. These include, (i) elucidating the “interactome” of STEC and the squamous epithelial cells constituting the rectoanal junction (the site of persistence in cattle), and (ii) evaluating O157 proteins expressed in the rumen (first compartment of the ruminant stomach). Proteins contributing to cell adherence and rumen survival are being investigated for inclusion in novel anti-adhesion/colonization therapies.