A subset of mucosa-associated Escherichia coli isolates from patients with colon cancer, but not Crohn's disease, share pathogenicity islands with urinary pathogenic E. coli.

Christina Bronowski, Shirley L Smith, Kyoko Yokota, John E Corkill, Helen M Martin, Barry J Campbell, Jonathan M Rhodes, C Anthony Hart, Craig Winstanley
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Pt 2
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Adherent and invasive mucosa-associated Escherichia coli have been implicated in the pathogenesis of colon cancer and inflammatory bowel diseases. It has been reported that such isolates share features of extraintestinal E. coli (ExPEC) and particularly uropathogenic E. coli (UPEC). We used suppression subtractive hybridization (SSH) to subtract the genome of E. coli K-12 from that of a colon cancer mucosal E. coli isolate. Of the subtracted sequences, 53 % were present in the genomes of one or more of three sequenced UPEC strains but absent from the genome of an enterohaemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC) strain. Of the subtracted sequences, 80 % matched at least one UPEC genome, whereas only 4 % were absent from the UPEC genomes but present in the genome of the EHEC strain. A further genomic subtraction against the UPEC strain 536 enriched for sequences matching mobile genetic elements, other ExPEC strains, and other UPEC strains or commensals, rather than strains associated with gastrointestinal disease. We analysed the distribution of selected subtracted sequences and UPEC-associated pathogenicity islands (PAIs) amongst a panel of mucosa-associated E. coli isolated from colonoscopic biopsies of patients with colon cancer, patients with Crohn's disease and controls. This enabled us to identify a group of isolates from colon cancer (30-40 %) carrying multiple genes previously categorized as UPEC-specific and implicated in virulence.