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ARS Home » Plains Area » Clay Center, Nebraska » U.S. Meat Animal Research Center » Meat Safety and Quality » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #412295

Research Project: Identification, Genomic Characterization, and Metabolic Modeling of Foodborne Pathogens in the Meat Production Continuum

Location: Meat Safety and Quality

Title: Pathogenomes and virulence profiles of representative emerging big six non-O157 serogroups Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli

item KALALAH, ANWAR - University Of Texas At San Antonio
item KONIG, SARA - University Of Texas At San Antonio
item Bono, James - Jim
item Bosilevac, Joseph - Mick
item EPPINGER, MARK - University Of Texas At San Antonio

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/6/2024
Publication Date: 2/29/2024
Citation: Kalalah, A.A., Konig, S.S., Bono, J.L., Bosilevac, J.M., Eppinger, M. 2024. Pathogenomes and virulence profiles of representative emerging big six non-O157 serogroups Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli(abstract). American Society for Microbiology, No. 5613.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Background: Shiga toxin (Stx)-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) of non-O157:H7 serotypes are responsible for global and widespread human food-borne disease. Among these serogroups, O26, O45, O103, O111, O121, and O145 account for the majority of clinical infections and are colloquially referred to as the “Big Six”. In this study, we present the pathogenomes and Stx-virulence pathotypes of representative strains distributed by the American Type Culture Collection (ATCC MP-9). Methods: The application of long- and short-read hybrid sequencing yielded closed chromosomes and a total of 14 plasmids of diverse functions. Through high-resolution comparative phylogenomics, we catalogued the shared and strain-specific virulence and resistance gene content and established the close relationship of serogroup O26 and O103 strains featuring flagellar H-type 11. Results: Virulence phenotyping revealed statistically significant differences in the Stx-production capabilities that we found to be correlated to the strain’s individual stx-status. Among the carried Stx1a, Stx2a, and Stx2d phages, the Stx2a phage is by far the most responsive upon RecA-mediated phage mobilization, and in consequence, stx2a+ isolates produced the highest-level of toxin in this panel. Conclusion: The availability of high-quality closed reference genomes for this “Big Six” set along with their Stx-production phenotypes will provide a valuable reference to gain further insights into the pathogenome make-up and evolutionary trajectories in these emerging non-O157 STEC lineages, which are major culprits of human food-borne disease.