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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Impact of antibiotic stress on acid and heat tolerance and virulence factor expression of Escherichia coli O157:H7.

This study was conducted to determine the effect of antibiotic stress on the virulence factor expression, simulated gastric fluid (SGF; pH 1.5) survival, and heat tolerance (56 degrees C) of Escherichia coli O157:H7. The MIC for three antibiotics (trimethoprim, ampicillin, and ofloxacin) was determined for two E. coli O157:H7 strains (ATCC 43895 [raw hamburger isolate] and ATCC 43890 [fecal isolate]) by the dilution series method. Subsequently, cells were stressed at the MIC of each antibiotic for 4 h, and poststress tolerance and virulence factor production were evaluated. Heat tolerance (56 degrees C) was determined by the capillary tube method, and SGF (pH 1.5) survival was used to assess acid tolerance. Virulence factor expression (stx, hlyA, and eaeA) was evaluated by the creation of lacZ gene fusions and then use of the Miller assay (a beta-galactosidase assay). Stressed and control cells were evaluated in triplicate. The MIC for trimethoprim was 0.26 mg/liter for both strains; for ampicillin, it was 2.05 mg/liter for both strains; and for ofloxacin, it was 0.0256 and 0.045 mg/liter for each strain. Heat tolerance and SGF survival following antibiotic stress decreased when compared with control cells (P < 0.05). Exposure to ofloxacin increased stx and eaeA expression (P < 0.05). Exposure to ampicillin or trimethoprim increased eaeA expression (P < 0.05). hly expression increased following trimethoprim stress (P < 0.05). Antibiotics can increase E. coli O157:H7 virulence factor production, but they do not produce a cross-protective response to heat or decreased pH.[1]


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