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Virulence traits in Cronobacter species isolated from different sources

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Cronobacter spp. (Enterobacter sakazakii) includes gram-negative opportunistic foodborne pathogens known as rare but important causes of life-threatening neonatal infections. However, the pathogenic mechanism is not yet clear. In this study, 43 isolates of Cronobacter, from human and nonhuman sources, were analyzed. A total of four clusters were identified and 32 DNA pulsotypes were observed by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. In addition, 86% of the Cronobacter isolates were able to adhere to HEp-2 cells and 35% were invasive, Cronobacter sakazakii isolates being the most efficient. Twenty-six percent of Cronobacter isolates were able to form biofilms, mainly those from nonhuman sources, such as Cronobacter dublinensis and Cronobacter malonaticus. Three putative virulence genes (siderophore-interacting protein (sip), type III hemolysin (hly), and plasminogen activator (cpa)) were identified by bioinformatic analysis and then detected by PCR. The sip gene was the most frequently detected (60%; 26/43), followed by the hly gene (37%; 16/43) and the cpa gene (28%; 12/43). The three genes were identified primarily in C. sakazakii. Our data show that Cronobacter species harbor different virulence traits.

Keywords: Cronobacter spp; adherence; adhérence; biofilm; gènes de virulence présumés; invasion; putative virulence genes

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Facultad de Medicina-Centro de Ciencias de la Atmósfera, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, 04510 México D.F. 2: Laboratorio de Bacteriología Intestinal, Hospital Infantil de México Federico Gómez, 01900 México D.F. 3: Departamento de Genética Molecular, Instituto de Fisiología Celular, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, 70-243, 04510 México, D.F. 4: Microbiología Clínica, Instituto Nacional de Ciencias Médicas y Nutrición “Salvador Zubirán”, 14000 México, D.F. 5: Facultad de Medicina, Salud Pública, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, 04510 México, D.F. 6: Laboratorio de Aerobiología, Centro de Ciencias de la Atmósfera, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, 04510 México, D.F.

Publication date: 2011-09-30

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  • Published since 1954, this monthly journal contains new research in the field of microbiology including applied microbiology and biotechnology; microbial structure and function; fungi and other eucaryotic protists; infection and immunity; microbial ecology; physiology, metabolism and enzymology; and virology, genetics, and molecular biology. It also publishes review articles and notes on an occasional basis, contributed by recognized scientists worldwide.
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