Escherichia coli can cause extraintestinal infections in humans and animals. The hlyF gene is epidemiologically associated with virulent strains of avian pathogenic E. coli and human neonatal meningitis-associated E. coli. We demonstrated that culture supernatants of E. coli expressing HlyF induced autophagy in eukaryotic cells. This phenotype coincided with an enhanced production of outer membrane vesicles (OMVs) by bacteria expressing HlyF. The HlyF protein displays a predicted catalytic domain of the shortchain dehydrogenase/reductase superfamily. This conserved domain was involved the ability of HlyF to promote the production of OMVs. The increased production of OMVs was associated with the release of toxins. hlyF was shown to be expressed during extraintestinal infection and to play a role in the virulence of extraintestinal pathogenic E. coli in a chicken model of colibacillosis. This is the first evidence that pathogenic bacteria produce a virulence factor directly involved in the production of OMVs.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Immunology and Allergy
- Infectious Diseases