Submitted: 26 Oct 2016
Accepted: 06 Mar 2017
ePublished: 18 Mar 2017
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Int J Basic Sci Med. 2017;2: 52-57.
doi: 10.15171/ijbsm.2017.11
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Original article

Prevalence of Genes Encoding Outer Membrane Virulence Factors Among Fecal Escherichia coli Isolates

Ahmad Rashki 1*, Hossain Ali Abdi 2, Milad Shookohi 3

1 Associate Professor in Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, Department of Pathophysiology, Faculty of Vet-Medicine, University of Zabol, Zabol, Iran
2 PhD Student in Molecular Genetics, Faculty of Sciences, University of Sistan and Baluchestan, Zahedan, Iran
3 MSc in Molecular Genetics, Department of Biology, Faculty of Basic Sciences, University of Zabol, Zabol, Iran
*Corresponding Author: Email: ah_rashki@usal.es


Objective: Escherichia coli is commensal bacterium of human intestine. The gut is a common pool of E. coli isolates causing urinary tract infections (UTIs). Some of fecal E. coli (FeEC) by the possession of certain virulence factors is able to cause diseases in human and other mammalian models. To evaluate the health threats coordinated with a given fecal source of E. coli strains, we determined the frequency of genes expressing virulence determinants in fecal E. coli isolates collected from human feces in Zabol, southeast of Iran.

Methods: Escherichia coli isolates (n = 94) were separated from the feces of patients attending teaching hospitals, and screened for various virulence genes: fimH, his, hlyA, ompT, irp2, iucD, iroN, and cnf1 by using the multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method.

Results: The prevalence of virulence genes was as follows: adhesins (fimH, 98% and iha, 26%), alpha-hemolysins (hlyA, 10%), outer membrane protease (ompT, 67%), aerobactin (iucD, 67%), iron-repressible protein (irp2, 91%) and salmochelin (iroN, 33%) and cytotoxic necrotizing factor 1 (cnf1). According to the diversity of different virulence genes, the examined isolates exhibited 29 different patterns.

Conclusion: Our results demonstrated that most of the assessed isolates harbored several virulence factors. Our findings propose possibility of human feces serving as a source for pathogenic organisms, supporting the notion that fecal materials of humans play a role in the epidemiological chain of extra-intestinal pathogenic E. coli. This is the first report of the frequency of virulence factors among E. coli isolates collected from human feces in Iran.

Keywords: Fecal Escherichia coli, Major virulence factors, Multiplex PCR
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