Shiga toxin-producing: Factors involved in virulence and cattle colonizationEscherichia coli: Factors involved in virulence and cattle colonization

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Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) cause hemorrhagic colitis (HC) and hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) in humans. Outbreaks are linked to bovine food sources. STEC O157:H7 has been responsible for the most severe outbreaks worldwide. However, non-O157 serotypes have emerged as important enteric pathogens in several countries. The main virulence factor of STEC is the production of Shiga toxins 1 and 2. Additional virulence markers are a plasmid-encoded enterohemolysin (ehxA), an autoagglutinating adhesin (Saa), a catalase-peroxidase (katP), an extracellular serine protease (espP), a zinc metalloprotease (stcE), a subtilase cytotoxin (subAB), among others. Other virulence factors are intimin and adhesins that had a roll in the adherence of STEC to bovine colon. This review focuses on the virulence traits of STEC and especially on those related to the adhesion to bovine colon. The known of the interaction between STEC and the bovine host is crucial to develop strategies to control cattle colonization.

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