Adhesion and Invasion of Escherichia Coli
Escherichia coli are well known as part of the intestinal flora of healthy individuals. However, there are several groups of E. coli strains which are important pathogens. These E. coli strains cause intestinal diseases as enteritis, diarrhea, or dysentery. Furthermore, certain E. coli strains are responsible for extraintestinal diseases like urinary tract infections (UTI), sepsis, or meningitis. E. coli are among the most frequent causes for intestinal diseases and urinary tract infections. In order to prevent infection by these microorganisms, it is necessary to understand on a molecular level the pathophysiology of diseases caused by E. coli. It seems reasonable to try to block already the very first steps of infection in order to prevent developement of disease. These very first steps are adhesion and/or invasion to/into host cells. This article will focus on S-fimbriae of UTI and meningitis causing E. coli (MENEC) as an example of an adhesin as a virulence factor as well as on the ability of MENEC and enterohemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC) to invade nonprofessional phagocytes.
KeywordsCarbohydrate Oligomer Diarrhea Meningitis Lactose
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