JOURNAL ARTICLE
RESEARCH SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T
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Increased frequency of intestinal Escherichia coli carrying genes for S fimbriae and haemolysin in IgA-deficient individuals.

Persons with selective IgA deficiency carry an increased risk of coeliac disease, inflammatory bowel disease and perhaps also gastrointestinal malignancies. Inflammatory bowel disease is associated with an increased carriage of adherent and haemolytic Escherichia coli in the intestinal microflora. This study was designed to investigate whether IgA-deficient individuals carry E. coli with virulence-associated properties in their gut flora. The last free-lying colony of E. coli isolates obtained from rectal flora of 25 IgA-deficient and 20 age-matched control individuals was assayed by multiplex PCR for genes for the following adhesins or virulence determinants: P, type 1 and S fimbriae, Dr haemagglutinin, haemolysin, aerobactin and the capsular types K1 and K5. E. coli strains from the intestinal microflora of IgA-deficient individuals more often had the gene for S fimbriae (36% of the strains compared with 0% in control subjects, P=0.003) as well as for haemolysin (40 vs 10% of the strains, P=0.040). IgA-deficient individuals had instead lower frequencies of E. coli carrying genes for type 1 fimbriae in their microflora (68 vs 90%, P=0.14). The results suggest that IgA-deficient individuals carry an increased frequency of E. coli with potentially inflammatogenic properties in their microflora, which may contribute to the development of gastrointestinal disorders such as inflammatory bowel diseases.

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