Functional analysis of colonization factor antigen I positive enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli identifies genes implicated in survival in water and host colonization

Moataz Abd El Ghany, Lars Barquist, Simon Clare, Cordelia Brandt, Matthew Mayho, Enrique Joffré, Åsa Sjöling, A. Keith Turner, John D. Klena, Robert A. Kingsley, Grant A. Hill-Cawthorne, Gordon Dougan, Derek Pickard

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Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) expressing the colonization pili CFA/I are common causes of diarrhoeal infections in humans. Here, we use a combination of transposon mutagenesis and transcriptomic analysis to identify genes and pathways that contribute to ETEC persistence in water environments and colonization of a mammalian host. ETEC persisting in water exhibit a distinct RNA expression profile from those growing in richer media. Multiple pathways were identified that contribute to water survival, including lipopolysaccharide biosynthesis and stress response regulons. The analysis also indicated that ETEC growing in vivo in mice encounter a bottleneck driving down the diversity of colonizing ETEC populations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number000554
JournalMicrobial Genomics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jun 2021


  • CFA/I
  • ETEC
  • H10407
  • RNAseq
  • TraDIS
  • Water survival and colonization

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