Date of Award
Master of Science (MSc)
Debora Barnett Foster
Enterohemorrhagic Eschericia coli (EHEC) 0157:H7 must be able to survive the acid stress of gastric passage. Previous studies show that adhesion of EHEC 0157:H7 to human epithelial cells is increased if EHEC was pre-exposed to acid. Whole genome array analysis of EHEC reveals that the putative fimbrial gene yadK is significantly upregulated after EHEC exposure to acid treatments. In this study, a YadK deficient mutant (△yadK) in EHEC 0157:H7 wild-type (WT) strain 85-170 was constructed and phenotyped. The results of this study demonstrate that △yadK exposed to acid stress showed no acid-induced increase in bacteria-host cell adhesion observed in similarly acid-induced wild type cells. This study concludes that YadK plays a role in acid-induced host adhesion of EHEC 0157:H7. It also indicates that acid stress, which is a part of the host’s natural assault to resist invasion, may regulate factors responsible for enhanced bacteria-host attachment, resulting in increased EHEC virulence.
Chingcuanco, Frances B., "Role of a novel fimbrial adhesin in acid-induced host adhesion of escherichia coli 0157:H7" (2009). Theses and dissertations. Paper 646.