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Type: Journal article
Title: The frequency of molecular detection of virulence genes encoding cytolysin A, high-pathogenicity island and cytolethal distending toxin of Escherichia coli in cases of sudden infant death syndrome does not differ from that in other infant deaths and healthy infants
Author: Highet, A.
Berry, A.
Bettelheim, K.
Goldwater, P.
Citation: Journal of Medical Microbiology, 2009; 58(3):285-289
Publisher: Soc General Microbiology
Issue Date: 2009
ISSN: 0022-2615
Statement of
Amanda R. Highet, Anne M. Berry, Karl A. Bettelheim and Paul N. Goldwater
Abstract: Consistent pathological findings in sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) are seen which display similarities to the pathogenesis of toxaemic shock and/or sepsis. A key candidate infectious agent that is possibly involved is Escherichia coli, given its universal early colonization of the intestinal tract of infants and an increased frequency of toxigenic and mouse-lethal isolates from SIDS compared with comparison infants. An explanation for these findings has yet to be identified. Using PCR, we screened E. coli isolates from 145 SIDS and 101 dead control and healthy infants for three new candidate pathogenicity-related genes: clyA (cytolysin A), irp2 [high-pathogenicity island (HPI)-specific gene] and cdt (cytolethal distending toxin). The results failed to show a positive correlation with SIDS, instead proving that clyA and irp2 genes were common to the infant intestinal E. coli. Interestingly we observed a high rate of carriage of these two potentially pathogenic genes in E. coli from healthy infants in the absence of diarrhoeal disease, and we report that in a number of cases, the detection of HPI-specific genes was predictable by serotype. Despite the lack of associations defined so far, there remains the likelihood that genetic determinants influence the interactions between E. coli and the host, so these factors may be part of the multi-factorial aspect of SIDS.
Keywords: Humans; Escherichia coli; Escherichia coli Infections; Sudden Infant Death; Bacterial Proteins; Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins; Escherichia coli Proteins; Periplasmic Binding Proteins; Iron-Binding Proteins; Bacterial Toxins; Virulence Factors; Serotyping; Case-Control Studies; Polymerase Chain Reaction; Genomic Islands; Infant; Female; Male; Hemolysin Proteins
RMID: 0020090288
DOI: 10.1099/jmm.0.005322-0
Appears in Collections:Paediatrics publications

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