A commensal gone bad: Complete genome sequence of the prototypical enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli strain H10407

Lisa C. Crossman, Roy R. Chaudhuri, Scott A. Beatson, Timothy J. Wells, Mickael Desvaux, Adam F. Cunningham, Nicola K. Petty, Vivienne Mahon, Carl Brinkley, Jon L. Hobman, Stephen J. Savarino, Susan M. Turner, Mark J. Pallen, Charles W. Penn, Julian Parkhill, A. Keith Turner, Timothy J. Johnson, Nicholas R. Thomson, Stephen G. J. Smith, Ian R. Henderson

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146 Citations (Scopus)


In most cases, Escherichia coli exists as a harmless commensal organism, but it may on occasion cause intestinal and/or extraintestinal disease. Enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC) is the predominant cause of E. coli-mediated diarrhea in the developing world and is responsible for a significant portion of pediatric deaths. In this study, we determined the complete genomic sequence of E. coli H10407, a prototypical strain of enterotoxigenic E. coli, which reproducibly elicits diarrhea in human volunteer studies. We performed genomic and phylogenetic comparisons with other E. coli strains, revealing that the chromosome is closely related to that of the nonpathogenic commensal strain E. coli HS and to those of the laboratory strains E. coli K-12 and C. Furthermore, these analyses demonstrated that there were no chromosomally encoded factors unique to any sequenced ETEC strains. Comparison of the E. coli H10407 plasmids with those from several ETEC strains revealed that the plasmids had a mosaic structure but that several loci were conserved among ETEC strains. This study provides a genetic context for the vast amount of experimental and epidemiological data that have been published.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5822-5831
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Bacteriology
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2010

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