Submitted to: Infection and Immunity
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/26/1998
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Cattle are important sources of Eschericia coli 0157:H7, a foodborne pathogen that causes severe diarrhea and sometimes kidney failure and death in humans. One way to reduce the risk of 0157:H7 infections in humans is to reduce the level of E. coli 0157:H7 in cattle. Most E. coli 0157:H7 make a protein called intimin that allows them to adhere to and damage intestinal cells. Infection of newborn calves with intimin-positive or intimin-negative E. coli 0157:H7 demonstrated that intimin is necessary for E. coli to damage the intestinal surface and cause diarrhea in calves. Similar studies showed that intimin is also required for E. coli to cause intestinal damage in newborn piglets. These results suggest that vaccines directed against intimin may interfere with E. coli 0157:H7 infections. Such vaccines could benefit both producers and humans by reducing 0157:H7 levels in cattle and thus reducing E. coli 0157 infections in humans.
Technical Abstract: Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) require intimin to induce attaching-and-effacing (A/E) lesions in newborn piglets. Infection of newborn calves with intimin**+ or intimin**- EHEC O157:H7 demonstrated that intimin is needed for colonization, A/E lesions and disease in cattle. These results suggest that intimin-based vaccines may reduce O157:H7 levels in cattle.