Comparative genomics of Crohn's disease-associated adherent-invasive Escherichia coli

Abstract : Objective: Adherent-invasive Escherichia coli (AIEC) are a leading candidate bacterial trigger for Crohn's disease (CD). The AIEC pathovar is defined by in vitro cell-line assays examining specific bacteria/cell interactions. No molecular marker exists for their identification. Our aim was to identify a molecular property common to the AIEC phenotype. Design: 41 B2 phylogroup E. coli strains were isolated from 36 Australian subjects: 19 patients with IBD and 17 without. Adherence/invasion assays were conducted using the I-407 epithelial cell line and survival/replication assays using the THP-1 macrophage cell line. Cytokine secretion tumour necrosis factor ((TNF)-[alpha], interleukin (IL) 6, IL-8 and IL-10) was measured using ELISA. The genomes were assembled and annotated, and cluster analysis performed using CD-HIT. The resulting matrices were analysed to identify genes unique/more frequent in AIEC strains compared with non-AIEC strains. Base composition differences and clustered regularly interspaced palindromic repeat (CRISPR) analyses were conducted. Results: Of all B2 phylogroup strains assessed, 79% could survive and replicate in macrophages. Among them, 11/41 strains (5 CD, 2 UCs, 5 non-IBD) also adhere to and invade epithelial cells, a phenotype assigning them to the AIEC pathovar. The AIEC strains were phylogenetically heterogeneous. We did not identify a gene (or nucleic acid base composition differences) common to all, or the majority of, AIEC. Cytokine secretion and CRISPRs were not associated with the AIEC phenotype. Conclusions: Comparative genomic analysis of AIEC and non-AIEC strains did not identify a molecular property exclusive to the AIEC phenotype. We recommend a broader approach to the identification of the bacteria-host interactions that are important in the pathogenesis of Crohn's disease.
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Claire L O'Brien, Marie-Agnès Bringer, Kathryn E Holt, David M Gordon, Anaëlle L Dubois, et al.. Comparative genomics of Crohn's disease-associated adherent-invasive Escherichia coli. Gut, BMJ Publishing Group, 2013, 66 (8), pp.1382-1389. 〈http://gut.bmj.com/〉. 〈10.1136/gutjnl-2015-311059〉. 〈hal-01393979〉

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