Genetic diversity, phylogroup distribution and virulence gene profile of pks positive Escherichia coli colonizing human intestinal polyps
Abstract Some Escherichia coli strains of phylogroup B2 harbor a ( pks ) pathogenicity island that encodes a polyketide-peptide genotoxin called colibactin. It causes DNA double-strand breaks and megalocytosis in eukaryotic cells and it may contribute to cancer development. Study of bacterial community that colonizes the adenomatous polyp lesion, defined as precancerous lesions, could be helpful to assess if such pathogenic bacteria possess a role in the polyp progression to cancer. In this cross-sectional study, a total of 1500 E. coli isolates were obtained from biopsies of patients presenting adenomatous colon polyps, the normal tissues adjacent to the polyp lesion and patients presenting normal mucosa. pks island frequency, phylogenetic grouping, fingerprint genotyping, and virulence gene features of pks positive ( pks + ) E. coli isolates were performed. We found pks + E. coli strongly colonize two patients presenting polypoid lesions and none were identified in patients presenting normal mucosa. Predominant phylogroups among pks + E. coli isolates were B2, followed by D. Clustering based on fragment profiles of composite analysis, typed the pks + isolates into 5 major clusters (I–V) and 17 sub-clusters, demonstrating a high level of genetic diversity among them. The most prevalent virulence genes were fimH and fyuA (100%), followed by vat (92%), hra and papA (69%), ibeA (28%), and hlyA (25%). Our results revealed that pks + E. coli can colonize the precancerous lesions, with a high distribution in both the polyp lesions and in normal tissues adjacent to the lesion. The high differences in fingerprinting patterns obtained indicate that pks + E. coli strains were genetically diverse, possibly allowing them to more easily adapt to environmental variations. Highlights pks + E. coli colonize the precancerous lesions extending in both the polyp lesions and the normal adjacent tissues. Predominant phylogenetic group among pks + isolates was B2 (95.45%), followed by D (4.54%). There were significant association between pks + isolates and presenting of fimH , fyuA , vat , hra , and papA genes. A high level of genetic diversity in fingerprint patterns among pks + isolates was found.
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