Ledwaba, S. E., Costa, D. V. S., Bolick, D. T., Giallourou, N., Medeiros, P. H. Q. S., Swann J, J. R., Traore-Hoffman, A. N., Potgieter, N., Nataro, J. P., & Guerrant, R. L. (2020). EnteropathogenicEscherichia Coli(Epec) Infection Induces Diarrhea, Intestinal Damage, Metabolic Alterations and Increased Intestinal Permeability in a Murine Model. https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.06.12.148593
Enteropathogenic E. coli (EPEC) are recognized as one of the leading bacterial causes of infantile diarrhea worldwide. Weaned C57BL/6 mice pretreated with antibiotics were challenged orally with wild-type EPEC or escN mutant (lacking type 3 secretion system) to determine colonization, inflammatory responses and clinical outcomes during infection. Antibiotic disruption of intestinal microbiota enabled efficient colonization by wild-type EPEC resulting in growth impairment and diarrhea. Increase in inflammatory biomarkers, chemokines, cellular recruitment and pro-inflammatory cytokines were observed in intestinal tissues. Metabolomic changes were also observed in EPEC infected mice with changes in TCA cycle intermediates, increased creatine excretion and shifts in gut microbial metabolite levels. In addition, by 7 days after infection, although weights were recovering, EPEC-infected mice had increased intestinal permeability and decreased colonic claudin-1 levels. The escN mutant colonized the mice, but had no weight changes or increased inflammatory biomarkers, showing the importance of the T3SS in EPEC virulence in this model. In conclusion, a murine infection model treated with antibiotics has been developed to mimic many clinical outcomes seen in children with EPEC infection and to examine potential roles of selected virulence traits. This model can help in further understanding mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis of EPEC infections and potential outcomes and thus assist in the development of potential preventive or therapeutic interventions.